Football is a sport that involves a lot of running, body movements and physical workouts. Similarly, a continuous physical effort and action are required throughout the gameplay, which entails the stretching of muscles and constant motion of body parts. These yoga poses for footballers are meant to keep them at the best of their physical and mental capabilities.
Today, yoga has been spreading into people’s mind, and its benefits are being studied and acknowledged in different parts of the world. People are recognizing Yoga as a tool to enhance the way of living, through betterment in physical and mental health, and practicing it widely in different fields. It has also been popular in the field of sports as a way to elevate the body functions.
Best Yoga Poses For Football players To Build Flexibility, Strength, and Endurance
Professional football players like Lionel Messi, David Beckham, David Silva, Ryan Giggs, etc practice Yoga regularly. They say that Yoga has helped them improve the flexibility and strengthening of body muscles, quickly recover from pains and aches during matches, providing deep relaxation and improve their focus and state of mind during matches.
Yoga For Football Players
There are certain yoga asanas (poses) which will help football players maintain fitness, calmness, and endurance. Here are some of the best yoga poses for football players.
1. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
One of the most common injuries that many athletes face is a hamstrings injury. And a stiff hamstring is a common problem to almost any person. Downward facing dog pose loosens the hamstrings and gives it the much-needed relaxation as a tight hamstring often leads to injury.
This poses affects the whole body, especially on calves and hamstrings along with wrists, shoulders, and hamstrings. In this process, spines are stretched and legs and arms are strengthened. This pose also helps to maintain calmness in mind and energy and relieves fatigue and stress.
2. Beer Bhadrasana (Warrior Pose)
Quadriceps is one of the most important muscles for football players to generate those power shots. Warrior pose strengths the quadriceps along with arms and maintains body balance.
This pose energizes the body with strength, flexibility, and balance. It strengthens the arms and legs and stretches calves, thighs, ankles, chest and the muscles of the back. It improves circulation and helps relieve backache and pains and help develop balance, coordination, and resistance and improve breathing capacity.
3. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
Equestrian Pose asana increases the strength of your calves, thighs, and groins. This asana is one of the best yoga poses for football players as it stretches and strengthens of all the body parts essential for a footballer. Such as the high, hamstrings, hips, groin, forearms, quadriceps, back, neck and chest. It is a yoga pose that everyone should do daily.
Ashwa Sanchalanasana is a low lunge posture with the chest lifted while the palms remain grounded on either side of the front foot. It is also beneficial in correcting the problems related to the back and providing strength to the forelimbs.
4. Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)
Footballers heavily rely on the groin and hip area for running as well as kicking the ball. Thus, it is very important for them to maintain fitness and keep good care of these body parts.
Butterfly pose stretches the inner thighs and knees and improves the flexibility in the groins and hip region. When practiced as an exercise for cooling down, after the training or the game is over, it helps to alleviate fatigue and the sense of tiredness.
5. Dandasana (Stick Pose)
Dandasana is similar to Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (Dolphin pose) that is also popular by the name ‘Plank’. It is an essential yoga pose for football players as it will not just build strength but also boost endurance. This yoga pose looks very simple but to be done properly, one needs to have a proper commitment, zeal, and determination to triumph this posture.
Anyone practicing this posture daily for 2-3 minutes will develop not just core strength but also their will power and mental strength. Stick Pose pose strengthens the abs, quadriceps, forearms, chests, biceps, and back. It also stretches the shoulders, chest and facilitates a good posture.
6. Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (One-Legged Pigeon Pose)
The lower part of a footballer’s body is usually stiff. Practicing ‘Eka Pada Kapotasana’ stretches the entire lower part of the body, stimulates the abdominal organs and helps relieve the body of Sciatica. Also, it helps open up the hips and adds more flexibility to the hip region. It is also known to relieve the body of stress and anxiety.
This asana involves the stretching of legs and lengthening of hip flexors along with hip muscles and helps to open the hip joint. It prevents lower back pain, knee pain, and stiffness in the hamstring. It also helps to relieve the stress, tension, and negativity from one’s mind.
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra-Serpent Pose)
Having a strong back and arms is necessary not just for athletes but also for any individual. Bhujangasana stretches and contracts our upper and lower back bones and builds strength in our arms. Additionally, it also gives a vital stretch to our neck muscles, abs and digestive system.
This asana is an effective pose of backbend facing upwards. It helps reduce tightness in the upper body and stiffness in the lower back, stretching the spine and belly. It reduces back and neck pain and also prevents potential injury in the tight hip flexors. It also helps to control stress, fatigue, and anxiety and maintain a calm mind.
8. Upavista Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)
Upavista Konasana stretches the adductor groin, hamstrings, thigh, hips while also strengthening your spine. Probably the best pose for adductor muscles and groins, each that are vital parts for any footballer or athlete.
‘Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend’ pose also strengthens the spine and legs and creates space in the groin and inside the legs. It also helps in stretching of the back region and arms and enhancing the core strength. It supports the body in the proper flow of blood and to acquire a relaxed mind.
9. Hasta Padasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Hastapadasana is one of the most common poses not just in yoga but any fitness regime. This is an essential yoga pose for footballers as it stretches the muscles and can be performed as a warm-up exercise before heavy workouts. Secondly, it revitalizes the nervous system and promotes proper blood circulation. The Abdominal organs are toned and the spine, legs, and thighs become flexible after performing this yoga.
This Standing Forward Bend is recommended for almost anyone. Hastapadasana also cures stomach ailments and helps reduce fat around the belly and so it is recommended to people who are over-weight, have issues like constipation, diarrhea, acidity, gastric or women who face problems during menstrual.
10. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
Living up to its complex name, even performing this pose could be a bit tricky for the beginners. However, this pose is so relaxing that you will never want to quit this pose from your daily routine, once you learn how to do it.
Ardha Matsyendrasana is one of the best yoga poses for spinal twist. Not just footballers but almost everyone suffers from upper and lower back pain once in a while. This is just the perfect medicine to that problem. This pose stimulates the liver and kidneys, stretches our back, arms, shoulders, hips, and neck, it energizes the spine, stimulates the digestive fire in the belly, relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatica, and backache.
Moreover, the traditional texts say that Ardha Matsyendrasana increases appetite, destroys most deadly diseases, and awakens kundalini.
Regular practice of yoga can make an individual a better athlete and a better sportsman, by enhancing the flexibility of the body, improving the breathing and lung capacity and functioning, increasing the stamina and maintaining the core strength and balance in the body. Yoga also helps the players to maintain focus during and after the game.
Due to continuous run, sprints and movements, hamstrings, muscles and tissue around hips and the back, become tight which creates risks of strains and injuries. Practicing Yoga-Asanas (Postures) on a daily basis will help in the loosening of the tightened muscles and tissues, lessening the potential risks of injuries and aches. These postures will influence the body, and help build stamina and release stress, and build flexibility and focus in a player.(Last Updated On: March 1, 2021)