5 Yoga Moves for Football Players

It's extremely beneficial for football players of every level to take yoga classes to improve their functional strength, balance, flexibility, power, breathing techniques, visualizations skills, and focus. There are certain yoga moves that are more beneficial than others; if a you don't have much time, consider these top five poses.

More: Improve Your Team's Tackling

1) Lying Opposite Arm, Opposite Leg

This movement is amazing to warm up the hip socket, shoulder socket, and abs, as well as syncing the breath with the movement; critical for the quick, elusive moves you need on the field. Try it for two to four minutes.

2) Lunge Twist

This pose will increase strength in the legs while stretching the quadriceps and increase the rotation in the back. Just watch a receiver and you will know how important it is to be able to twist and torque to catch a less than perfect pass. Great execution of this pose will also help you better your balance, which also can come in handy when landing from a leaping grab or having to have the presence of mind to land with your feet inbounds.   

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3) Plank Pose, Elbow to Knee Variation

Performing a plank on its own will increase your abdominal and hip flexor strength, but adding the elbow to knee variation will deepen the ab crunch and strengthen the wrist joint (which needs to be strong in the event that you land on your wrist after a tackle or diving catch). Having the best abdominal strength will support your back in all compromising positions on the field.

4) Chest Down Shoulder Stretch

This yoga pose will give you a deep opening in the anterior deltoids (front of the shoulder), stretch the biceps muscles, neck and spine; all very important to run and turn on a dime to prevent or make a catch.  

More: The Angle Tackle Football Drill

5) Frog

This pose is a long deep hold up to 20 minutes and will release the groin and inner thigh. To prevent injuries, inner thighs need to be open to make a sudden stop and change direction. Also this is another example of opening the hips in all directions to keep the knees safer and more exempt of stress and strain.

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Gwen Lawrence has been a practicing fitness professional since 1990. Her current practice includes private yoga training, class instruction and her sport-specific Power Yoga for Sports training program www.poweryogaforsports.com. Gwen is the yoga instructor for several New York Yankees baseball players, team yoga instructor for the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls, and the Pace University baseball team; as well as many youth teams in a variety of sports. She is also the official spokesperson for AFRIN PureSea. Visit her website at www.poweryogaforsports.com

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