To win a game of volleyball, it’s vital for players to have great strength, flexibility, and stamina. Although some athletes enjoying use weights to build these skills, many are now turning to yoga, instead. A form of low-intensity exercise, yoga can help volleyball players to become stronger, agiler, and even increase their energy levels. As volleyball is a full body sport, players must have strong muscles throughout the body. Often, weight-training builds certain muscle groups but leaves out others. Yoga, on the other hand, uses bodyweight training to build a strong all-over physique. Many postures focus on core strength. In addition to increasing your physical strength, a strong core can increase coordination and balance to help players stay on-target throughout the match. Through a series of stretches, yoga also helps players to become more flexible. Not only will this allow the muscles to stretch further during a game, it also makes them less prone to injury. If you’re interested in using yoga, all you need to get started are some comfortable yoga clothes. During the warmer months, a supportive yoga bra and a pair of sweatpants will be ideal. In this article, we explore yoga for volleyball players further and discuss some of the best asanas to use.
To practice Low Lunge, begin by standing tall on your mat. Step your right leg forward and lift your hips up and back until they are aligned directly over your left knee. Next, raise both arms up and press your hips down until you feel the muscles engage. You should feel a stretch in your outer hip of your left leg. You are in Low Lunge. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
To perform the Sole of Foot Stretch, begin on all fours. Tuck your toes under and lean back to sit on your heels. Initially, keep your hands on the floor to support you. As the position becomes comfortable you can gradually move your weight onto your heels and move your hands into your lap. You are in Sole of Foot Stretch. Hold the stretch for around 1 minute whilst breathing deeply.
Seated Spinal Twist helps to rejuvenate the body by realigning the spine. Additionally, the posture increases flexibility throughout the upper body. With this in mind, the pose is ideal for Volleyball players. To practice the asana, sit on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bending your right knee, place the bottom of your right foot flat against the mat. Next, bend your left knee and bring your left foot under your right leg. If you can, place your left heel against your right buttock. Place your right palm on the mat just behind your right buttock. Finally, place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. You are in Seated Spinal Twist. To deepen the stretch, twist your upper body a little further with each breath. Hold the pose for around 30 seconds before switching sides.
Maximising flexibility in the upper body, Ear to Shoulder Pose is ideal for volleyball players. Additionally, the asana can be used to relieve a headache. To practice Ear to Shoulder Pose, take a seat on a chair with your shoulders relaxed and your spine straight. Next, begin to move your chin toward your chest and then slowly move your right ear toward your right shoulder. You are in Ear to Shoulder Pose. To deepen the stretch, place your right hand on your left ear and apply gentle pressure. Hold the pose for around 30 seconds before switching sides.
Simple and discrete to practice, Shoulder Rolls can be performed anywhere! Much like Ear to Shoulder Pose, Shoulder Rolls maximise flexibility in the upper body. To perform the stretch, sit or stand tall with a straight spine. Next, draw both your shoulders up towards your ears and then draw them back and down towards the ground. Finally, bring them back forwards and repeat the rotation. The exercise can be repeated as many times as required.
Arm Across Chest Pose builds strength and flexibility in the arms and shoulders. To practice the posture, sit comfortably on a chair or your mat. Ensure that your spine is straight and your neck is lengthened. Relax your shoulders and reach your right arm out in front of your before placing it across your chest. Finally, turn your head to the right until you can see over your shoulder. You are in Arm Across Chest Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
Designed to alleviate tension in the legs, Reclining Big Toe Pose is another great asana for volleyball play-ers. Additionally, the posture can help to balance the nervous system and increase blood flow. This will allow players to enjoy extra energy when on the pitch. To practice the pose, lay flat on your back upon your mat. Keeping your feet on the ground, bend both your knees and begin to draw your right knee into your chest. If you need to, you can use your hands to help pull your knee in and hold it in position. When your right knee is touching your chest, straighten your left leg and return it to the mat. Use your fingertips to grab hold of your right foot. If possible, straighten your leg completely. You are in Reclining Big Toe Pose. If you can’t straighten your right leg, don’t panic! As long as you can feel a stretch through your ankle and calf you will still feel the benefits of the pose. Hold the asana for around 1 minute before repeating on the other side.
Whether you’re hoping to build strength, flexibility, or stamina, practice the poses above to benefit your volleyball game. With the warmer weather, some yogis enjoy practising outside. If you choose to do so, make sure to wear a yoga cap and a good-quality SPF to protect your skin from the UV rays.