Football players of any level can benefit greatly from yoga classes. They can improve their functional strength, balance, flexibility, power, breathing techniques, visualizations skills and focus. However, there are certain moves that are more beneficial than others.
If a player does not have much time they should consider these five poses to improve their stability.
1. Chair PoseChair is a perfect pose to strengthen your back and quadriceps, as well as open the calves and Achilles tendon for linemen.
2. Flat Back Chair PoseThe Flat back variation of chair is a bit more challenging than chair pose and can strengthen a lineman's back. The starting position of a lineman often puts the spine in a flexed position. It's great back relief to increase the strength of the spine, to keep abs strong and support the back more completely.
3. SquatHold squat pose for two to four minutes can allow the player to open his hips, stretch and strengthen the calves, and open Achilles tendon. Once a player becomes seasoned to hold this pose for the maximum time, he can work on flattening his back to get more benefits than from from flat back pose.
4. Forearm Plank Hold
Multiple benefits can arise from regular practice of this pose. You can increase your abdominal strength, which can increase the immovability of your body. Also, it can increase the potency of your chest muscles and stretch your wrist joints.
Watch a lineman for one play and you can see the power he uses to push, block and stop an opponent with his wrists. If the wrist joint is tight, the opponent can open it for you in an uncomfortable way, perhaps even damage your wrists. It also comes in hand if you get knocked on your butt, although it's unlikely, your wrist can take the weight off the fall with less damage done.
5. Inverted TableThis pose offers the same benefits as the forearm plank pose, but can add a great shoulder chest opener and quad stretch. At the same time it will strengthen the back, chest, and shoulders.
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Gwen Lawrence has been a practicing fitness professional since 1990. Her current practice includes private yoga training, class instructionand 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 websiteat www.poweryogaforsports.com