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Yoga For Swimmers: 18 Hip Flexor, Seated & Floor Poses
Image Pose Description
yoga pose Bound AngleSit with legs straight out in front. Bend knees. Pull heels toward pelvis. Drop knees to sides. Press soles of feet together. Bring heels close to pelvis. Grasp big toe of each foot. Release thighs to floor.
Alternatives: Easy pose. Hero pose. Lotus pose. Half lotus pose.
Sanskrit: Baddha Konasana
Benefits: Engages core. Stretches inner thighs, groins, knees.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/cKkKmfIlZ5c?rel=0
Modifications: Blanket below buttocks (give spine height to support hip). Blocks below knees. Hold ankles or shins. Use wall for support (back against wall)
Precautions : Groin or knee injury.
yoga pose ChildSit on heels. Walk hands forward until forehead touches floor. Arms alongside legs. Alternatives include: Child with head on bolster. Child with bolster between legs. Child pose with arms extended. Child with hands on back. Child with cheek on mat. Child with leg raised and arms extended.
Sanskrit: Balasana
Benefits: Stretches hips, thighs, ankles. Relieves back pain.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/DsXNXMoerMc?rel=0
Modifications: Interlock fingers behind back.
Precautions : Pregnancy. Knee injury.
yoga pose Extended PuppyCome to all fours. Walk hands in front lowering chest down to floor. Keep hips raised over knees. Release forehead to floor. Stretch arms.
Sanskrit: Uttana Shishosana
Benefits: Hip opener. Stretches inner thighs, groins, hips.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/TKDdMTmS08g?rel=0
Modifications: Wide knees. Blanket under knees.
Precautions : Knee or ankle injuries. Back pain.
yoga pose Cat Head To KneeSit with buttocks on heels. Come onto all fours. Wrists under shoulders. Engage core. Bring forehead to right knee. Bring forehead to left knee. Modifications include: Cat pose with leg raised. Cat pose with arm raised. Cat pose with rib cage circles. Cat pose with feet to the side.
Sanskrit: Marjaryasana
Benefits: Stretches lower back. Engage care. Decompress spine.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VuqVVXW_N50?rel=0
Modifications: Raise leg or arm.
Precautions : Neck injury.
yoga pose Half Monkey PrepStart in Down Dog. Step right foot between hands. Lower onto left knee. Straighten right leg. Lengthen spine. Fold over right leg. Hold. Down Dog. Switch legs.
Alternatives: Pigeon. Wide leg forward bend.
Sanskrit: Ardha Hanumanasana
Benefits: Stretches thighs, hamstrings, groins.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ubsxA1-rLw
Modifications: Elevate hands on blocks. Folded towel under knee.
Precautions : Ankle or knee injury.
yoga pose Cow Hold FootStart on hands and knees. Knees set directly below hips and wrists. Centre head in a neutral position. Eyes looking at wall (straight ahead). Raise left leg. Hold onto foot of left leg with left hand. Repeat on right leg. Keep alternating.
Alternatives: Cow
Sanskrit: Bitilasana
Benefits: Stretches torso, neck. Massages spine, core.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VuqVVXW_N50?rel=0
Precautions : Neck or wrist injury.
yoga pose FrogStart on hands and knees. Knees wide apart. Inside edges of feet touch mat (angle of knees and ankles no greater than 90 degrees). Lower onto forearms. Back of neck long. Gaze down. Relax belly. Soften heart. Shoulder blades draw towards one another. Gently push hips backwards and down.
Alternatives: Extended Puppy.
Sanskrit: Mandukasana
Benefits: Stretches inner thighs, groins, hips. Opens chest, shoulders.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/TKDdMTmS08g
Modifications: Blanket under knees. Walk knees further apart (deepen stretch).
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Half PigeonStart on all fours with hands below shoulders. Bend right knee and slide it forward between hands (heel under left hip). Extend left leg behind you with toes tucked under. Hips face forward. Gaze up and expand chest. Lower chest onto thigh.
Sanskrit: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Benefits: Stretches thighs, psoas, abs, chest, shoulders, neck.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/jQMsyrLowFw?rel=0
Modifications: A) Hold onto back foot. B) Folded blanket under hip. C) Figure four version (Sit with knees bent, feet flat on mat, arms behind you for support. Bring right ankle over left knee, keeping foot flex. Walk left foot closer to hip to increase stretch). D) Figure four version lying on your back.
Precautions : Ankle or knee injury.
yoga pose Half Pigeon Forward FoldStart on all fours with hands below shoulders. Bend right knee and slide it forward between hands (heel under left hip). Extend left leg behind you with toes tucked under. Hips face forward. Gaze up and expand chest. Lower chest onto thigh into a forward fold.
Alternatives: Pigeon.
Sanskrit: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Benefits: Stretches thighs, psoas, abs, chest, shoulders, neck.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VrDWNC6Gqq0
Modifications: Folded blanket under hip.
Precautions : Ankle or knee injury.
yoga pose Seated PigeonSit with legs straight in front. Lean back slightly on hands. Place right ankle over left knee. Bend left leg and bring heel in towards hip. Keep right foot flexed to support knee. Move hips closer to the left foot (deepen stretch). Move hands away from you and lean into them. After coming out, shake out arms to relax them. Repeat on other side.
Alternatives: Pigeon pose.
Sanskrit: Upavishati Kapotasana
Benefits: Arms & shoulder stretch. Hip opener. Chest opener. Core. Ankle stretch.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/dl474z1bhnk
Modifications: Eye of the needle pose.
Precautions : Knee injury
yoga pose Reverse PigeonSit with your legs straight in front of you. Lean back slightly on hands. Place right ankle over left knee. Bend left leg and bring heel in towards hip. Keep right foot flexed to support knee. Move hips closer to the left foot (deepen stretch). Slide hands further behind yourself and bring them as close together as possible. Gently drop head back to extend neck. After coming out, shake out arms. Repeat on other side.
Alternatives: Pigeon pose.
Sanskrit: Upavishati Kapotasana
Benefits: Arms & shoulder stretch. Core. Hip opener. Chest opener. Balance.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/dl474z1bhnk
Modifications: Eye of the needle pose.
Precautions : Knee injury
yoga pose ArcherSit with legs extended (staff). Back straight. Bring right foot in so only left leg is straight. Hold onto big toe of left foot. Interlock fingers around big toe of right foot and lift right foot up towards ear. Fix gaze onto left foot like an archer eyeing a target. Hold. Repeat on other side.
Alternatives: Staff. Staff against wall. Staff seated on folded blanket. Leaning seated tree. Staff with hands overhead.
Sanskrit: Akarna Dhanurasana
Benefits: Hip mobility. Strengthens arms. Stretches arms and legs. Core.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/KLeJFi6Zy0I
Modifications: Don't raise leg as far as it can go.
Precautions : Pregnancy. Menstruation. Shoulder, spine, hamstring injury.
yoga pose Bridge Ankle On KneeLie supine. Bend knees. Set feet on floor. Heels close to sitting bones. Press inner feet and arms into floor. Push tailbone up. Lift buttocks. Raise right leg and place ankle on left knee. Lower. Repeat on other side.
Alternatives: Baby bridge (raise shoulder just at a comfortable position).
Sanskrit: Dwi Pada Pitham
Benefits: Chest, neck, spine stretch. Reduces backache.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/EU2JS2Pm2EY?rel=0
Modifications: Bridge with blanket under shoulders. Bridge with leg up. Clasp hands around ankles. Block below shoulders. Block (or bolster) below lower back. Feet close to wall to prevent slipping.
Precautions : Knee or neck injury.
yoga pose Cat Pulling TailLie on right side. Use right arm as a pillow. Stack hips, knees and feet. Bend bottom knee and reach top hand to take hold of foot. Roll top shoulder back. Draw top leg out in front of you. Drop top shoulder towards mat. Hold. Roll onto opposite side and repeat. Alternatives include: Cat pulling tail with strap. Cat pose with leg raised. Bananasa. Dancer. Lunge.
Benefits: Counterpose to forward bends. Compresses lower back. Opens quads and upper thighs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/hEyCFVVvXls
Modifications: Use a strap.
yoga pose Seated Straddle (upright)Sit with legs extended. Spread legs wide. Back straight. Knees and toes point up. Press legs and sitting bones down to raise spine.
Alternatives: Mill churning pose.
Sanskrit: Upavishta Konasana
Benefits: Stretches legs. Strengthens spine.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/xT5Cfzw4Jqw?rel=0
Modifications: Sit on folded blanket. Seated straddle with one leg extended. Seated straddle side stretch. Seated straddle against wall. Seated straddle with a partner. Seated straddle yoga seal.
yoga pose Eye Of The NeedleLie on back with knees bent. Soles of feet on floor. Hug left knee into chest. Cross left ankle over body and rest it on right thigh. Let left knee relax away from torso. Lift right foot off floor and thread left hand through legs so hands meet on back side of right thigh. (or clasp hands on front side of right shin). Using hands, draw right thigh toward chest (cause left hip to open). Keep both feet flexed. Relax left knee to open hips. Repeat on other side.
Alternatives: Circling. Rocking. Knee To Chest.
Sanskrit: Sucirandrasana
Benefits: Flexes calves, hams (tight from sitting).
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/UM02T4O-Iho
Modifications: Lift forehead to meet knee. Chair pigeon. Half reverse pigeon (raise one leg only).
Precautions : Back or knee injury.
yoga pose Knee To ChestLie on back with legs together, arms at sides, palms down. Bend right knee to chest. Wrap hands around knee. Pull knee into abdomen. Release. Repeat on other side.
Sanskrit: Apanasana
Benefits: Flexes calves, hams (tight from sitting).
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/_rrhm6pncwg?rel=0
Modifications: Circling. Rocking. Forehead to knee.
Precautions : Back injury.
yoga pose Supine ButterflyLie on back. Knees bent. Soles of feet on mat. Lower knees with soles of feet together. Arms relaxed by sides. Palms up. Release back to floor. Close eyes. Feel hips getting heavier with each exhale.
Sanskrit: Supta Baddha Konasana
Benefits: Calming. Hip opener.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/dyYnIAW7rVs
Modifications: Blanket under knees, head, back.

THEME: Hip Flexor Yoga Poses For Swimmers

AIM: To provide swimmers with poses that stretch the hip flexor. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to tight hip flexors and hip flexor pain, which increases the chance of injury for triathletes. All the poses in this lesson plan help swimmers to build strength and flexibility in their hips.

OBJECTIVES: By the end of the lesson students should/will be able to:

• Perform a 10 to 30 minute hip flexor focused practice.

• Pick one or more of the hip flexor focused poses to practice.

• Release tight hips (caused by excessive sitting).

• Hold Pigeon Forward Fold (a very deep hip flexor stretch) for 30 seconds.

• Relax at the end of the practice in Supine Butterfly pose, which is a gentle hip stretch.

• Know the other physical areas of focus for swimmers (Arm, Buttocks, Calves, Feet, Hamstrings, Shoulders, and Thighs).

• Choose to spend time sitting at home in Seated Wide Leg Pose (to get a gentle hip stretch), instead of on on the sofa.

Become aware that sitting is the new smoking (most swimmers have office jobs that involve sitting in front of computers or sitting behind steering wheel. All this "sitting" is creating a body that is predisposed to "injury" which is why it's so important to have a disciplined yoga practice).

Exhale slowly when going deeper into a pose (This helps to go deeper into a pose and also train for slower exhales when swimming. The trick to exhaling underwater is to do it slowly. Then, as you feel you’re getting ready to come up for air, breathe out at a faster pace, in preparation for your next breath. Avoid exhaling too quickly, however, as this may cause you to gasp for air. Aim for your exhalation period underwater to be twice as long as your inhalation period).