Swimming

Swimming is a wonderful activity for toning your upper body, torso, and legs. Unlike cardiovascular activities such as jogging and weight training, swimming doesn't put any stress on your joints because, in effect, you're weightless when you're in the water. Another plus is that the water pressure on your arms and legs benefits your circulatory system.

The yoga-with-weights exercises in Table 16-1 tone and condition the core muscles of your belly and torso and stretch and tone the supporting structures of your shoulders so you can get a longer, smoother, cleaner stroke. You'll also notice better balance and coordination in your kicking legs and more power in your kick.

As you do the exercises, take Complete Breaths (Chapter 4 presents many different breathing techniques). This rhythmic technique will help you be aware of your breathing and get you ready for the rigors of swimming.

Warm-up exercises (see Chapter 6): Back Shoulder Roll, Forward Shoulder Roll, All-Out Hamstring Stretcher, Quad Stretcher, The Big Stretcher, Big Shoulder Release

Table 16-1

A Swimmer's Workout

Chapter

Exercise

Notes

7

The Camel

Opens up your chest; strengthens your shoulders, arms, and legs; brings flexibility to your shoulders

8

The Eye of the Needle

Brings flexibility to your shoulders and back

8

The Runner

Stretches and tones your back, legs, and arms

9

The Twister

Strengthens and tones your back and abdominal muscles

9

The Child's Pose

Stretches your back, pelvic girdle, quads, and inner thighs; tones and conditions your triceps and shoulder girdle

10

The Lightning Bolt

Gives you strength and a powerful kick

10

The Crescent Moon

Conditions your legs, back, and arms; helps with core strengthening

10

The Swimmer

Strengthens and tones your arms, back, buttocks, legs, and abdomen

Chapter

Exercise

Notes

10

The Lift

Strengthens your arms, back, abdomen, buttocks, and legs

11

The Horse

Strengthens and tones your abdomen, arms, back, buttocks, and legs

11

The Dancer

Helps stretch your quads and the head of your shoulder girdle

11

The Straddle

Opens your pelvic girdle; conditions your back and abdomen; strengthens your biceps

12

The Locust

Strengthens your shoulders, chest, arms, legs, buttocks, and abdominal muscles

12

The Pearl

Works your abdominal muscles and stretches out your spine

12

The Flying Locust

Strengthens and tones the front and back of your body; strengthens your shoulders, arms, chest, legs and buttocks

Running

Running is one of the best cardiovascular workouts you can perform. It increases your lungs' ability to take in oxygen and strengthens your heart. It also helps lower your blood pressure because it maintains the elasticity of your arteries and enables blood to flow more easily through your body; in turn, running increases your stamina, burns calories so you can lose weight, and prevents the bone and muscle loss that accompany aging. Figure 16-1 shows a couple of Sherri's yoga students, Paula Glodowski and Andy Valla, completing an iron-man triathlon.

You can use the yoga-with-weights exercises in Table 16-2 to develop core strength in your abdominal muscles to improve your running performance. These exercises also help you rehabilitate injuries, improve your overall fitness, recover between runs, and rejuvenate your mind and body. Because runners often experience pulled muscles and other injuries in their calves, hamstrings, and groin, we include exercises that condition, stretch, and support those areas. By addressing all these areas through yoga-with-weights exercises, you can prolong your running career.

Warm-up exercises (see Chapter 6): Forward Shoulder Roll, Backward Shoulder Roll, Quad Stretcher, All-Out Hamstring Stretcher

Figure 16-1:

Paula Glodowski and Andy Valla, two of Sherri's yoga students, crossing the finish line.

Table 16-2

A Runner's Workout

Chapter

Exercise

Notes

7

The Rag Doll

Stretches out your legs, back, head, neck, shoulders, and arms

7

The Warrior II

Strengthens your legs, buttocks, trunk, and upper torso

7

The Dog

Offers total-body strengthening and conditioning

7

The Frog

Opens up your groin, hips, and pelvis; stretches and strengthens your legs

8

The Skater

Strengthens and tones your legs, buttocks, abdomen, back, shoulders, and arms; enhances balance and stability

8

The Runner

Strengthens and tones your legs, buttocks, back, shoulders, and arms; enhances balance and coordination

Figure 16-1:

Paula Glodowski and Andy Valla, two of Sherri's yoga students, crossing the finish line.

Chapter

Exercise

Notes

8

The Warrior I

Strengthens and tones your legs, buttocks, back, shoulders, and arms; opens up your hips and groin

8

The Rise and Shine

Strengthens and stretches your legs, back, shoulders, and arms; enhances fluidity of movement

9

The Twister

Strengthens and tones your abdomen, sides, and back; opens up your upper chest; stretches your arms

9

The Pigeon

Stretches your hips and groin

9

The Plow

Tones and strengthens your core muscles, legs, and back

10

The Swimmer

Strengthens and tones your arms, back, buttocks, legs, and abdomen

10

The Lightning Bolt

Stretches and tones your arms, back, sides, and legs; enhances balance and stability

11

The Straddle

Stretches your groin, hips, and legs; strengthens your abdomen, back, and biceps

11

The Road Runner

Stretches and strengthens your hamstrings, back, and arms; tones your abdomen; enhances coordination

11

The Dancer

Stretches and tones your legs, quadriceps, and back; conditions your shoulder girdle, arms, and abdomen; develops balance and stability

12

The Cow to Cat

Opens up your back and spine; strengthens and tones your abdomen, legs, buttocks, and core

12

The Love Handler

Stretches your pelvic girdle and legs; tones and conditions your abdomen and sides

12

The Burning Boat

Strengthens and conditions your abdomen, arms, legs, and back

12

The Archer

Strengthens your core; stretches and tones your back and legs

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