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Yoga for Swimmers: Five Poses for the Chest and Shoulders

By Jeff Grace, SwimSwam, 12/08/17, 12:00PM CST

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When swimmers have shortened, tight pectoralis muscles, some of the issues that may occur are poorly rounded shoulders, glenohumeral joint dysfunction, numerous breathing dysfunctions and even Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

As a yoga sports coach, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many swimmers who are looking for ways to improve their performance in the pool. Some successful poses we’ve worked on have increased core strength, improved ankle mobility, and increased lung capacity; however, there are two areas in a swimmer’s body that always seem to need constant attention: the shoulders and the pectoralis muscles.

It goes without saying that it is important for a swimmer to have stable and strong rotator cuff muscles for performance. Additionally, it is important for the serratus antierior, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles to be strong and stable for increased performance as well. At times, though, the stability and flexibility of the pectoralis muscles can be overlooked for overall shoulder girdle health.