Yoga is oftentimes only thought of as a way of calming down and relaxing, but it has many more benefits than those two. Yoga involves a lot of different moves, stretching, breathing control, and simple meditation. And while it seems that yoga has been talked about more in recent years, it bears repeating that it’s a practice that is centuries old with origins tracing back to ancient India.
Yoga allows for people to not only stretch and relax but also to tone up muscles, burn calories, and even to sleep better. It is less strenuous on the body, making it a great choice for anyone. It specifically can help athletes because it keeps muscles “loose”. This is especially helpful for volleyball players, who are oftentimes stuck in specific positions, making them more flexible in some areas than others. Different yoga moves can actually target specific areas and benefit volleyball athletes in numerous ways.
5 Yoga Poses that Benefit Volleyball Athletes
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Dancer pose helps with hip mobility, stability, and single leg balance. Volleyball players often struggle with tight hip flexors and round shoulders. It is important while doing this specific pose that you do not hyperextend your knee or arch your lower back. This will impact how well you can stretch the targeted areas.
Image from youyoga.com
When playing volleyball, you must be able to remain in a low, squatted position at many different times during a match. The wide-legged squatter yoga pose promotes the balance and flexibility a volleyball player needs. It works targeted areas like the back, calves, abductors, and hamstrings.
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A reverse plank is idea for anyone, especially a volleyball player, to add strength to their core. It also helps strengthen our lower chain – glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. These areas are crucial for volleyball athletes and it is important to keep that well stretched and strong.
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In volleyball our bodies rotate a lot, specifically our torso and shoulders. This great yoga pose helps with torso mobility and shoulder flexibility. Since these areas are used constantly in volleyball, using this yoga pose can help prevent damage and possible tearing.
photo courtesy of yogajournal.com
Pigeon Forward Fold
This is a great way to stretch and calm down during a post practice or post game cool down. It helps stretch and add flexibility to the hip, lower back, and lats. The lower back can be a vulnerable area for volleyball players if not stretched properly and using techniques like this can help prevent damage to the area.
Yoga is the perfect combination of stretching and strengthening that helps keep our bodies in shape no matter what age. Volleyball athletes can benefit from doing yoga because it enhances our ability to perform during a game. Coaches are finding that their athletes’ overall mental, physical, and even inspirational well-being improve as a result of incorporating yoga and mindfulness into practice time. Consider adding yoga into your strength and conditioning program this season.
About the Author
Stephanie James is health enthusiast by day, and freelance writer by night. She is a recent college graduate from the University of Illinois and loves to cover all things wellness and fitness and encourages others to make all aspects of their health a priority. You can connect with her and find more of her work on a variety of topics, on Twitter: @sjaywrites13.