Yoga for Tennis: 5 Yoga Poses For Tennis Players
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If you were lucky enough to catch it, the intense tennis match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that happened during this past weekend is set to go down in history as the most spectacular match ever played.
Tennis is an unforgiving sport, with its long grueling matches that quickly takes a toll on the players’ body and mind. A good complement to tennis is a yoga practice as it helps cultivate strength as well as help players combat injuries. An avid fan of tennis? You’re in luck! Here are 5 yoga poses that will prove to be beneficial on the court!
With the long laps around the court that tennis players have to do, they are required to have stamina as well as strong legs. Practicing the Chair pose will help strengthen the legs as it works on the thighs and quadriceps. More importantly, holding this pose strengthens the supporting muscles of major joints, including the hips, knees and ankles. Utkatasana helps prevent knee injuries by building stability in the knee joints.
Tip: Move the tailbone towards the pubis when holding this pose to avoid arching the lower back, which will result in back pain. Engage your lower abdominal muscles as you do so as it will help strengthen your core too!
Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)
Another great pose to build strong legs is the Warrior 2. Staying in Virabhadrasana II for a lengthened period of time will not only build endurance but also improve the flexibility of your knee and hip joints. This pose also opens the chest and increase your breathing capacity, which is crucial for a sport as strenuous as tennis.
Tip: Keep the alignment of your bent knee in check, ensuring that the heel is in line with the knee. If the knee is moved too far forward, you might run the risk of putting too much stress on your ankle joints.
Cow Face (Gomukhasana)
In tennis, plenty of tension goes to the shoulders and arms as players utilize a swinging action to perform an effective backhand and forehand. Furthermore, as players generally use one dominant hand to play, it is important to work both arms to promote muscular balance. The Cow Face pose is a great way to get a good stretch on both arms and shoulders, while also offering a stretch to the outer hips.
Tip: As this pose is asymmetrical, you may find that one side will be more difficult or tighter than the other. Use props where necessary to modify the pose and listen to the needs of your body.
Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
Cultivating flexibility in tennis is a great way to maximize your range of mobility as well as help protect yourself from injuries. All yoga poses help you increase flexibility, but the Revolved Triangle goes one step further by increasing flexibility in all parts of your body. The pose stretches the legs, arms, and torso. It also stretches the spine and chest.
Tip: Keep your legs hip width apart to provide more stability in the legs. An slightly more open legs will help you better anchor your feet on the mat, which will support the twist of your upper body.
Tree (Ekapada Vrksasana)
The most important element in any sports is mental focus. This is even more so in tennis, as players often play long matches that test not only their physical endurance but also their mental strength. In yoga, balancing poses are a great way to train mental focus as practitioners are required to find balance on one leg or the other. The tree pose is the most common balancing pose practiced in yoga which not only helps practitioners find balance but also stretches and opens the hips.
Tip: To improve mental focus, a good complement to a yoga practice is meditation. Try practicing a few minutes of meditation each day and see how it improves your focus on the court!
The best way to gain benefits from yoga is to include it as a daily practice! Learn more about the fundamentals of yoga through a yoga teacher-training course! Browse and pick the best one for you today!