Yoga for basketball is not a new concept. Many of the sport’s prominent names, like Lebron James, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Love, have confirmed their incorporation of it into their workout routines. Yoga is a set of exercises that stretches, strengthens, and improves your overall body health.
Are there yoga sets that are specially tailored to basketball players? Well, no. However, certain yoga sets work best and guarantee maximum strength, flexibility, and body balance. Thus, if you are pursuing a future as a basketballer or already one, below is all about yoga.
Basketball is majorly a game of strength, stamina, and endurance. It requires you to use a lot of explosive strength, for example, in dunks or the many sharp turns while dribbling. These movements and strength place much stress and strain on the body. Issues such as insufficient core strength, body dealignment, muscle rigidity, sprain, and tension are all potential issues for many basketball players.
Yoga fuses gentle and measured poses to strengthen and toughen, with many poses and combos proven effective. However, no one yoga pose is all-encompassing. Depending on your body condition and workout plans, the best sets for you may vary. Still, here are a set of base movements and poses that will greatly improve your overall body health.
Is Yoga Good for Basketball Players?
Emphatically, yes. For basketball, you are at a better advantage if you are flexible and properly stretched before a game. Yoga gets your body ready for strenuous physical exertion. Without it, your joints and tissues, like muscles, ligaments, and more may get damaged — sometimes irreparably. Also, your tissue may become tired over time, reducing your output in court.
One advantage of yoga is that it may be used for various objectives. You can also use it as a warm-up preparation for your other routines. Additionally, you can perform yoga as a helpful exercise for injuries like herniated discs, injuries to the joints, muscle sprains, etc. These are all causes of pain and limitation in certain movements. As such, you should use poses that target the issue’s location, listening to your body as you progress.
A third way yoga is useful is by improving your concentration, lifting your mood, and improving body coordination. Thus, it’s a great routine to have if you regularly play basketball. Its benefits to you can be summarized below:
Benefits of Yoga to Basketball Players
- Helps improve body balance, coordination, and unrestrained movement, e.g., more mobility in the hips. Thus, your speed levels improve.
- Increases core strength and flexibility. Running and leaping in this vertical sport becomes easy once you are prepared.
- It improves your breathing, posture, and mood while also allowing you to become more in tune with your body.
- It helps with proper circulation, thus a great way to ditch cramps.
- Reduces muscle tightness, especially if you experience feelings of anxiousness that can strain your muscles.
- Prepares your body for incoming physical activity. Thus, you can confidently and physically challenge yourself after a session.
Yoga Poses for Basketball Players
Below are some excellent yoga poses for basketball players.
Warrior 1 Pose
This pose is excellent for strengthening your ankles and hip joints. It also aids in the improvement of your body’s equilibrium. To do the warrior one pose, place your feet wide apart. Set one foot at a 90-degree angle and the other at a 45-degree angle. Make sure your back aligns with the heel of the foot you placed forward at 45 degrees. You should also press on this heel and, with your chin perpendicular, bend the knee at 90 over its ankle. Finally, reach up strongly with your arms which you can place together or parallel.
Warrior 2 Pose
This pose targets the stretch of your chest and inner thighs while strengthening your glutes. To do this pose, assume a loose and wide stance and lunge your right knee slightly over your right ankle. Make sure your shoulders are above your hips, then spread your arms parallel to the floor. Finally, look over your right fingertips, and repeat with your left side.
Exalted Warrior Pose
The exalted warrior pose is a good one to lengthen the torso sides and increase your reach while stretching the lats. To do this pose, start assuming the warrior two pose, lift your right arm over your head, and rest the other arm softly on your left thigh. Hold this lunge position. You can straighten your right leg if you get tired.
The bridge pose is a good way to strengthen the back while helping the spine muscles develop. It may also strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and also hips. To do the bridge pose, lay facing upwards on a mat. Stretch your arms downwards on your sides and draw up your heels to meet its tips. As you breathe deeply, elevate your midsection towards the roof and keep it there. Ensure your knees are above aligned with your heels.
This pose strengthens your hips and lower legs and stretches many connecting muscles like the hip flexors, quads, and more. To do this pose, stand on your right leg and hold onto the inner ankle of the other. Your left thumb should face upwards while holding onto it. Lastly, kick your left foot into your left hand while you lean forward.
How to Safely Do Yoga
As with every exercise, there are guidelines to get the best outcome every time. This is especially so if you have had no experience with yoga before. To start, begin slowly. Start with the simpler poses, and as your body becomes more accommodating, progressively diversify and amp the difficulty levels.
Yoga is most beneficial when practiced on a regular basis. Consistency is essential. For professional advice (recommended), find a yoga teacher who knows about the area of your need. As a basic rule, always listen to your body. Take note of poses to avoid self-harm.
Almost everyone can practice yoga, regardless of gender or industry. It has a lot of promise for basketball players. Stretching and strengthening help place the player in a better position. We have selected some poses that may bring about great rewards for players. We recommend you go through them and try them out during your next routine.