Once thought of as unmanly, ineffective, or even silly, yoga has evolved in baseball as a reliable tool for any recovery and training regimen. The breathing techniques and stretching of yoga can be a potent factor in reducing muscle fatigue and even strengthening athletic positions.
As yoga for baseball players becomes more popular, resources and techniques are more readily available. Use the following poses and movements as starting point for your yoga journey to up your game.
Yoga For Baseball Players
Despite the morbid name, corpse pose forces control of individual muscles in a concentrated effort. Begin by lying on your back with legs extended and feet shoulder width apart. Placing your arms along the sides of your body, roll your shoulders into the floor. While holding this position, take several deep breaths, paying attention to your heartbeat and breathing rhythm.
Articulating Bridge Pose
A bridge requires precise engineering to stand strong and resist outside forces. Lay flat on your back but bring your feet up as close as possible to your buttocks while continuing to point knees upwards. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale use your glute muscles to slowly lift your hips. Gradually raise your back one vertebra at a time until only your shoulders and feet touch the ground. Breathe in again, but now lower your body slowly to the ground. Repeat this pose up to ten times.
This move is so named as it mimics the rotation of wipers clearing rain from a windshield. Rotational health is an important factor in baseball for hitting or throwing. Just like the bridge pose, start by lying on your back place with your feet close to your buttocks with knees facing up. Make sure your knees are together then breathe in deeply. As you exhale, allow both knees to fall towards the left side of your body, exploring the depth of that range. Feel the stretch and hold, then breathe in again and bring the knees back to the up position. Exhale and now let the knees fall to the right, feeling the same stretch. Repeat while alternating sides up to ten times.
A standard movement in yoga that is found in almost every form of yoga, and for good reason. The simplicity of this movement belies its far reaching benefits. Start this pose with a fairly wide stance, feet outside the width of the shoulders. Move the left foot to point slightly inward but the right foot a full 90 degrees. With arms extended straight out to either side, pivot the body so the right hand touches the floor and the left hand points to the ceiling, keeping your eyes on the left hand. Breathing should be measured and not labored. After holding for a few seconds, reset to the original position and try the other side.
Adding yoga before and after a workout or athletic activity can greatly improve performance while reducing the chances of injury. Healthy, well-conditioned muscles can be the difference between success or failure. Breathing is covered in each yoga pose because distributing oxygen to muscles while increasing blood circulation boosts the overall benefits. Similarly, increased oxygen and blood flow helps warm up athletes before a game. Yoga can be used after games to reduce tension and assist the recovery process. Remember, keeping your body as healthy as possible is essential for success and avoiding injuries. Always explore new ways to help your body become healthy and strong.
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