Stretching and mobility are just as important as your swim and dryland training. Without proper flexibility, your muscles won’t work as efficiently, potentially leading to injuries and muscle imbalances.
Cobra pose is an excellent stretch for the front of the core and for the spine, and is best done after a workout to help your muscles recover. Try 1-2 sets of 30 seconds and let us know how you feel!
Cobra Pose Tips for Swimmers
- Press the palms into the ground. Spreading your weight across your entire hand reduces pressure on your wrists, which can sometimes be painful in this pose.
- Micro-bend in the elbows. Find the tiniest bend in your elbows to help turn on your biceps and triceps. Hyper-extending your elbows causes you to rely only on joint stability rather than your muscles’ support.
- Draw the shoulders down and back. Avoid shrugging your shoulders up to your ears here! Think about drawing your shoulder blades down your back to make room for your neck.
- Keep the neck long. Keep your neck in line with the rest of your spine. Tuck your chin and look straight ahead or up slightly.
- Pull the chest through. Think about pulling your chest through your arms to create a backbend that should feel very good! This opens your spine and maximizes the stretch you’ll feel in the front of the core.
- Press feet into the ground. Lastly, un-tuck your toes and press the tops of your feet into the ground.
If pressing up on your hands is too much or causes pain in your lower back, try dropping to your elbows instead! Press your forearms into the floor and follow all the other cues outlined above to get the same benefits. Additionally, squeeze your butt to take pressure off your lower spine.
What is your favorite post workout stretch? Let us know in the comments! For more training tips like this, check out our YouTube channel. Start your free trial of ELITE COACH for full access to all of our swimming and dryland training programs!