YOGA POSES FOR UPPER BODY SPORTS Runners and walkers know that performing post-exercise stretches will help with maintaining flexibility and ward off imbalances that foster injury. Those who also enjoy playing sports involving use of the upper body might be interesting in the article “Stretches for Golf-Tennis-Baseball: 5-Pose Yoga Fix” by Kelly DiNardo for Under Armor’s MyFitnessPal blog. According to the credits, DiNardo has been a yoga instructor since 2002 and has a studio in Washington DC.
She says, “Athletes who swing a golf club, baseball bat or tennis racket really twist and turn their bodies.” The article offers 5 poses that the author indicates will build shoulder strength and flexibility, keep the body in alignment, increase spinal movement, open the hips, and loosen the hamstrings. These benefits would also seem to help with running!
The poses are described in text and demonstrated in pictures, which show them to be markedly different from the usual passive lower body stretches recommended for runners. Because performing a variety of exercises is generally considered a good approach to increasing functional strength, it would seem that expanding the number and type of stretches would be a similarly positive approach to improving flexibility.
It’s exciting to have these new moves to try, although some may be quite challenging. Excellent lower body flexibility seems to be required.
Hopefully it’s possible to ease into these moves. Taking a beginner class might be the best way to safely introduce them into a fitness program. Yoga enthusiasts, please weigh in the best approach.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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