How Yoga Can Supercharge Your Soccer Game

If you want to boost performance at your next soccer game, it may be time to pull out your yoga mat. Although it may seem counterproductive to slow down and stretch to increase endurance and ability on the field, yoga can work wonders to support your athletic ability.
Yoga Benefits for Athletes
First and foremost, yoga focuses on total mind-body wellness. As a result, it can improve joint mobility and flexibility to greatly reduce the risk of injury on the field. And as your joints become more flexible and strong, it can increase power and agility on the soccer field.
Additionally, yoga is well known for its ability to hone in focus and concentration through the use of deep breathing. With regular yoga practice, you can open your lungs more efficiently and breathe deeply, improving lung capacity as a result. Greater lung capacity brings increased endurance on the field, allowing you to play longer and stronger in your next game.
On top of that, many athletes are surprised to find that yoga is a serious workout when practiced properly. Although the practice of yoga may seem simple and relaxing with deep breathing, chanting, and stretching, holding poses in challenging positions for a long period of time can leave you drenched in sweat at the end of a workout session.
Even if you already consider yourself to be in tiptop shape, make no mistake that yoga will challenge new muscles that you may not use in your regular workouts. As a result, you’ll complete a yoga session feeling relaxed and limber with residual soreness for several days afterward as evidence that you worked your body hard.
Yoga for Soccer Conditioning
Since soccer is a fast-paced sport that demands continuous agility on the field, yoga can be used to condition the body from head to toe, while improving overall flexibility.
A soccer player interested in practicing yoga to improve performance should focus on the following areas:
• Improving flexibility in the quadriceps and hamstrings for improved running with quick direction changes.
• Supporting strong ankles to provide more range with on-field speed and agility.
• Strengthening leg muscles to keep knees safe as the foundation of speed.
• Opening hips to decrease pressure on the knees and prevent strained joints.
• Improving flexibility in the back to provide greater torque when shooting on the field.
When starting yoga for the first time, it’s recommended to work with a trained yoga instructor. For the best results, these foundational yoga poses can be used up to three times per week to support everyday sports performance:
• Seated forward bend
• Lunge twist
• Triangle pose
• Pigeon pose
• Lying spinal twist
• Plank pose with wrist support
• Seated cross leg twist
• Frog pose
While many athletes may never consider yoga a foundational part of a soccer workout, adding variety to your regular training routine can improve performance noticeably on the field.

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