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View Full Version : Yoga vs. weights ..what is best for swimming?



Swim_McG
October 9th, 2009, 08:46 AM
I just ordered and received my "Yoga for Swimmers" DVD. I have watched it a few times and attempted many of the poses....it is harder than I thought and I'm way less flexible than I thought.Can anyone out there attest to the benefits of yoga when it comes to swimming? I'm trying to decide whether to do a consistent weight lifting routine or if I should practice yoga - I don't have time for both right now.

Warren
October 9th, 2009, 09:14 AM
Id pick the weights

geochuck
October 9th, 2009, 09:15 AM
Swim, swim, swim.

pwb
October 9th, 2009, 10:17 AM
My priority would be a combo of geochuck & warren's


swim,swim,swim => VAST majority of your effort
weights => more if you're a sprinter, less impt if you're a distance person
yoga => a nice addition (& I love yoga), but I'm not sure if it adds much more to swimming than a combination of dynamic pre-swim stretching and static post-swim stretching.

I'd aim to maximize you're swimming time first.

RuffWater
October 9th, 2009, 10:30 AM
Weights.

pwolf66
October 9th, 2009, 10:44 AM
Well it depends. Using myself as an example, I find the best return on investment to be Yoga. I'm fairly muscular and strong already so I need more work on core strength, range of motion, balance and overall flexibility.

But YMMV. In the end it's all about ROI, working smarter, not harder.

joel schmaltz
October 9th, 2009, 12:07 PM
Well it depends. Using myself as an example, I find the best return on investment to be Yoga. I'm fairly muscular and strong already so I need more work on core strength, range of motion, balance and overall flexibility.

But YMMV. In the end it's all about ROI, working smarter, not harder.
I have been investing much more time on core work and flexibility and cut back a little on the weights. At the beginning I was shocked at my low flexibility but have seen a vast improvement in the last couple of months both in and out of the pool.

TRYM_Swimmer
October 9th, 2009, 01:30 PM
I'd ask myself what is the condition of my core vs. my muscles. If the core needs more work, go yoga, otherwise weights. At my age, the 10 - 15 minutes of yoga I do every day, with some added here and there, keeps me from being very inflexible.

The Fortress
October 9th, 2009, 01:41 PM
Swim, swim, swim.

Nice recipe for injury, George.

aquageek
October 9th, 2009, 02:03 PM
The literature on yoga is very confusing. Half say that you take up yoga right before you join the cult. The other half say that you take it up right after joining the cult. I wish they could make up their minds about this.

geochuck
October 9th, 2009, 02:07 PM
I prefer yogurt over yoga.

When you swim rite no injuries occur. When you swim rite your core develops correctly. When you swim rite your muscles develop properly.

So again I say swim, swim, swim.

pwolf66
October 9th, 2009, 02:25 PM
When you swim rite no injuries occur. When you swim rite your core develops correctly. When you swim rite your muscles develop properly.

So again I say swim, swim, swim.

So every swimmer out there who does flexibility, strength and power activities outside the pool is wrong?????

joel schmaltz
October 9th, 2009, 02:52 PM
Personally, I have felt much longer and stronger in the pool since I have incorporated what little bit of yoga I do.

joel schmaltz
October 9th, 2009, 03:05 PM
I don't plan on giving up my weights any time soon. The combonation of weights, core, yoga, and quality time in the pool is gonna work out just fine for me.

geochuck
October 9th, 2009, 04:23 PM
I am almost too flexible. I am not a believer in streatching. I do exercises when not swimming my self designed stuff. I never lift weights. I also walk when not swimming but when I swim I do not bother with any thing else except in Mexico my wife and I walk uptown eveyday. 2.5 miles uptown 2.5 miles back and do lots of swimming. I prefer full stroke swimming over any other activity.

But anyone can do whatever they think best.


So every swimmer out there who does flexibility, strength and power activities outside the pool is wrong?????

Swim_McG
October 9th, 2009, 04:34 PM
I must not be swimming "rite" since my core (especially as I get older) needs some help. Despite what some are saying, I believe that it makes a lot of sense to compliment swimming with some sort of dry-land program.

Lui
October 10th, 2009, 01:24 PM
I like bodyweight exercises(which is basically weight training with your bodyweight), like pushups, pull-and chinups, squats etc.

I also like free weights and do stretching for flexibility.

I think doing that supports your swimming more than yoga. Then again you can do both.

jessicafk11
October 10th, 2009, 01:42 PM
I'd agree that it depends on your body and what your end goals are, but I think weights and yoga are both important in different ways. I think the benefits of weight training are probably obvious, but I like yoga to aid with my flexibility (which, despite the fact that I have danced all my life, I am serisouly lacking in flexibility) and it helps me mentally. Yoga helps me focus on "being in the moment" so I can put everything else out of my mind. It helps me deal with stress and makes me a more focused swimmer. When I am focused, I can get more out of my other workouts whether they are with weights or in the pool.

swimcat
October 10th, 2009, 02:12 PM
pilates.- great core work and weights.- light for leg and upper body but havent' done much weights. slacker

gigi
October 10th, 2009, 08:51 PM
I say yoga because you can do it at home and depending on the poses, you'll get different benefits. I'm reading a lot about flexibility benefits from yoga, but lots of yoga poses (plank, warrior(s), chair pose, etc) can really build strength. I guess it all depends on the poses and how long your yoga session is...just 10-15 minutes probably won't do much for your strength if you're mostly doing a flexibility set.

chaos
October 10th, 2009, 09:33 PM
there is a huge variety of yoga practices out there and they range from slightly physical to extremely physical, static isometric to flowing and dynamic. there is also a huge variety in weight lifting routines.

the important thing is to have an idea of what you want to get out of your routine.

i haven't lifted weights in 20 years but my work is pretty physical.
i find ashtanga yoga to offer an excellent balance to my heavy swimming schedule.
i would prefer above all else to swim 2 workouts a day rather than one swim and one yoga class.

Lui
October 11th, 2009, 05:32 AM
I say yoga because you can do it at home and depending on the poses, you'll get different benefits.

That's why I do bodyweight exercises: you can do it at home and depending on the exercise you also get different benefits.

geochuck
October 11th, 2009, 08:00 AM
I have two pools, one 5 minutes away and the second pool is 10 minutes away. I pay $31.00 a month which is good for either pool. I can do laps any time from 6:30 am til 10:00 pm and they always have laps available.

I would prefer again to swim, swim, swim.

want2beafish
October 11th, 2009, 12:31 PM
slacker

Ummm.... no. :wave:

Georgio
October 12th, 2009, 12:14 PM
I like yoga with fruit on the bottom!

Couroboros
October 13th, 2009, 02:24 PM
I may sound terribly unenlightened, but... isn't swimming lifting weights? Grabbing chunks of water and dragging them underneath you... displacing large quantities of water with your legs... sounds like weight lifting to me.

joshua
October 17th, 2009, 05:42 AM
I have recently taken up Yoga. I am 55 and felt that I was getting very stiff (not that I was ever particularly flexible). I had been swimming and lifting weights for years but I feel that I have to make a change. I lifted for the pleasure not because it helped my swimming. Speaking for myself, I felt there was very little cross over between getting stronger in the weight room and swimming faster. On the other hand, my improved flexibility has given me improved ROM and that is definitely beneficial for my swimming. Also, I have found yoga HARD. Besides the flexibility, there is a surprising strength element involved. I also supplement with kettlebell and bw exercises but I have greatly reduced my strength training in favor of yoga practice. I am doing 20 minute circuits a few times a week that emphasize strength-endurance.

qbrain
October 17th, 2009, 09:37 AM
I may sound terribly unenlightened, but... isn't swimming lifting weights? Grabbing chunks of water and dragging them underneath you... displacing large quantities of water with your legs... sounds like weight lifting to me.

No. You displace something during any activity, air, water, iron, etc so that isn't a great way to think about it.

The goal of lifting weights and swimming are different but hopefully lifting weights compliments your swimming. If the break swimming and lifting into two comparable components, mass and velocity, swimming you are concerned with increasing velocity with constant mass (your body) and lifting you are concerned with increasing mass (the weights) with constant velocity (rep speed). Swimming faster is the key, not gaining weight while swimming the same speed. Inversely, lifting more mass is the key since lifting 10lbs really really fast is not the same thing as lifting 400lbs really really slow.

freeflower1963
November 9th, 2009, 11:37 AM
I have doing running and exercising; ie butt, crunches, leg lifts, pull ups,push ups, ect. for 2 years now and 3 weeks ago I had to take 2 weeks off due the flu. :bed: Ever since I stopped doing all that and stopped MAKING myself do that, I feel so much better, emotionally and physically. I, however, think that yoga is the best thing for anyone. I am a massage therapist and yoga keeps your body from getting stiff. I need to find an interval workout where I can feel good after exercise and do it outside. I don't have a gym membership, nor do I want one. Working out outside is very relaxing for me. Any suggestions would be great. I still swim, swim, swim, though! :)

SolarEnergy
November 9th, 2009, 08:42 PM
My athletes use weight training to increase strength and explosive power. By increasing strength, they can also increase endurance. If you have to use every motor unit to pull your arm through the water at the desired speed to swim fast, you'll tire quickly. But if you can improve your strength to the point where you only need to use a portion of the motor units, you can alternate motor units and thereby improve your strength endurance.

All swimmers need strength, explosive power and endurance in the arm depressors, arm medial rotators, elbow extensors (mainly triceps), wrist flexors, leg and ankle extensors (for turns and starts), abdominals and back (for fixation of the hips) and the arm elevator muscles (deltoids). Breaststrokers also need to emphasize work on leg adductors.

Swimmers must keep their elbows high on the pull, and therefore need strong arm rotator (medial) muscles. These are often the most neglected muscles for swimmers. But it is essential to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles by doing this arm rotator exercise:
- Lie on back, elbows on the floor
- Grasp barbell, hands just wider than shoulders, with bar just behind head, elbows bent.
- Keeping elbows bent, bring bar forward, not up, in semicircular motion until forearms are vertical to floor.

Since explosive power is so important to swimmers, we use a biokinetic swim bench that permits variable resistance and has acceleration programmed into it so the swimmer simulates the acceleration pattern of champion swimmers. I believe it improves explosive power because we do much of our exercising on the device at fast speed.

My swimmers also do stretching exercises for the ankles and shoulders, and use an isokinetic leaper (60-120 jumps in sets of 30-- keep back straight to avoid injury -- 3-5 days a week) to improve jumping ability for starts.
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By James E. "Doc" Consilman, Ph.D, Coach Indiana University (6 NCAA titles, 23 Big Ten Conference titles); Coach Olympic Men's Swim Team 1964, 1976. Author of Science of Swimming and The complete Book of Swimming.
Note: This article (including authors' credentials) was written in 1986 for Bill Pearl, author of Getting Stronger - Weight Training for Men and Women. It can be found at page 149 of this outdated masterpiece.

I have no idea about Doc's current thoughts on this topic as of today. It may have changed over time, like several things.

Slowswim
November 10th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Massage Therapy and sleep.

It lets me work harder and more consistantly at swimming, weights and running.