I will be the first to say that I am horrendous when it comes to cross-training. It’s not that I don’t understand the importance of it; I would rather just take an extra day off from my training schedule than do another workout that I’m pretending to know how to do. I realize that this is a petty excuse so I’ve been trying to incorporate yoga into my weekly routine and let me say, it’s been wonderful. As a frequent runner, I’ve noticed less pain in my calves and shoulders from a physical perspective as well as concentration and mental clarity which can benefit all athletes in adrenaline-fueled, high-stress situations.
Yoga Specifically for Volleyball
As far as yoga as cross-training for volleyball is concerned, the sport requires the player to jump high and dive low while fully involving the shoulders. As a full-body involvement sport, the player must have strength and flexibility in both the upper and lower body with quick, balanced reflexes. A large part of this focuses on core strength- when the core is strong, the increased coordination will help players move around the court and be less prone to injury. Yoga supplies volleyball players with a chance to decompress mentally, while stretching, lengthening, and building strength in these muscle groups. Below are yoga positions that can benefit volleyball players in opening their shoulders, jumping, and flexibility. Click the pose name for step-by-step instructions.
Yoga Positions for Opening Shoulders
Opening the shoulders is important for volleyball players as the shoulders are actively involved in hitting, serving, etc.
Yoga Positions for Jumping
These yoga poses will strengthen the muscles in your glutes, calves, and quads. By using your body weight and gravity as resistance in a stationary position, you are training your muscles for a higher and more powerful vertical jump.
Yoga Positions for Flexibility
Flexibility aids in lengthening muscle groups and in turn, increasing speed. By developing flexibility and opening the hips, players can move around the court faster with an increased ability to move laterally.