Six Yoga Poses for Footballers

American football players’ bodies have to be tough, strong machines, and they get beaten in each game. Players practice on the field to hone their bodies and minds to be successful, and then they also hone their bodies and minds off the field by watching films or getting in a session at the weight room.

Yoga is an important part of the training regimen for professional athletes. Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility and joint strength and release tension.

I asked some friends who played college football what part of their body was affected by their football career. The answers varied depending on the specialty of the team. One football player complained that his lower back always hurts from the heavyweights he uses for squats. Another said his hips are permanently tight.

Here are six football yoga poses that can be used on the field and off.

Downward Facing Dog

All of these hits can cause your vertebrae to be misaligned. Downward Facing Dog helps to neutralize the spine so that it is not in a forward-folded flex nor a back-opening extension. This also relieves pressure on the lower back and releases tension between vertebrae.

Downward Facing Dog can also lengthen hamstrings. A tight hamstring can make a player more susceptible to injury.

Seated Spinal Twist

The player can sit in any position of the legs that they find comfortable, provided the spine is extended.

Sit up straight on a block or bolster to tilt your pelvis forward if you find yourself falling backward because the spine curves. Spinal twists can help you increase your range of movement. Twists are also helpful in relieving low back tension.

Cow Face Pose

The hip action in the Cow-Faced Pose helps to open the outer hip rotators. Theme time, the arm, the cow-faced pose, and the faced pose are incredibly helpful for stretching the deep working (internal) of the shoulder girdle muscle, tendons, and ligaments.

Use a strap for the ultimate shoulder stretch. Football players have more muscle in their shoulders, arms, and back.

Lizard Pose

Tight Hips? Lizard Pose is a great way to work both hips.

The hip gets a deep stretch on your back leg in a manner that extends the front hip. The front leg allows for deep hip and groin inner stretching and adductors.

If your hips are very tight, you can do the Lizard Pose using long, straight arms, or you can come down to your forearms and rest them on top of one or two blocks.

Tree Pose

Tree Pose improves core strength and balance. Close your eyes while doing Tree Pose. This will help you to improve the body’s ability to proprioception, which is its innate sense of where body parts are.

The Tree Pose can also help to calm and clear the mind. You will have a harder time maintaining a balanced, tall Tree if you are thinking about ten different things.

Wide-Legged Fold Forward with a Twist

This pose is good for a tight and compressed lower back.

Fold from the pelvis while keeping the legs at an equal distance. Be sure to keep your back as long as possible. As a teacher, the most common thing I see is a curve behind the lungs in the thoracic spine during a Wide-Legged Fold. We want to avoid this by first lengthening the back and then folding.

Place one hand on the ground (or on a solid block) at the center of the stance. Then, oppositely twist your chest while lifting the other arm to the sky.

The twist opens the chest and shoulders. It also helps with lower back pain.

You’re a footballer with a persistent problem area and have been considering trying yoga.

Ask your coach to send a yoga instructor to your team to help you with your daily workout.

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