BLACK FRIDAY SALE!
ENDS DECEMBER 1ST
50% OFF CLASSES FOR LIFE!

Use These 10 Standing Yoga Poses to Improve Your Athletic Performance

Are you utilizing the power of athletic yoga?

Here at YouAligned, we already trust the power of a solid and consistent yoga practice. We know that the yoga practice offers several physical benefits including improved mood, better sleep, and increased energy.

But, did you also know yoga can improve your performance when you’re on the court, track, or field? Yoga improves mental clarity and focus, decreases our stress response in high intensity situations, and balances overall strength and mobility.

Calling All Athletes! Yoga Can Increase Your Athletic Performance – Here’s How

Whichever athletic activity you choose, the yoga asana practice can support you by bringing balance to your body and your mind.
 

 
 

Use These 10 Athletic Yoga Poses to Improve Your Athletic Performance:

 

1. Standing Side Bend

Standing Side Bend
Standing Side Bend lengthens your spine, creates space in the sides of your body, and helps to boost your energy.

Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and parallel with your arms relaxed alongside your body
  • On an inhalation, reach your right arm up and overhead
  • On an exhalation, stretch your right arm up and over to your left side
  • Maintain square shoulders and hips as you lengthen the right side of your body
  • On an inhalation, return your body to an upright position, and on an exhalation, release to stand
  • Continue with as many repetitions as you like and repeat on your left side

 

2. Chest Expansion Forward Fold (Uttanasana Variation)

Forward Fold
This athletic yoga pose stretches your pecs, shoulders, and hamstrings.

Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and parallel with your arms relaxed alongside your body
  • Interlace your fingers behind your back or hold a strap or resistance band behind you
  • Inhale, and broaden your chest
  • Exhale, and hinge at your hips to land in a Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  • Hold for a few rounds of breath and feel free to create a bit of movement in the forward fold
  • On an exhalation, release your hands to the earth and roll up to standing

 

3. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Chair
Chair Pose builds strength in your quadriceps, glutes, and paraspinal muscles – all of which are imperative to the majority of athletes.

Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your feet together or hip-distance apart and parallel
  • On an inhalation, extend your arms in front of you and parallel to the floor
  • On an exhalation, bend your knees deeply as if you were about to sit down in a chair
  • Try to bring your thighs parallel to the ground and find length in your spine from your tail to your crown
  • Hold for a few rounds of breath and, on an exhalation, rise to stand

 

 
 

4. Standing Figure-4

Figure 4
Standing Figure-4 is an athletic yoga pose that improves hip external rotation and stretches your glutes and external rotators.

Let’s try it:

  • From Chair Pose, cross your right outer shin or ankle on top of your left thigh
  • Externally rotate your right outer hip as you create the shape of the number 4 with your legs
  • Place your hands on your hips or draw your hands to prayer at heart center
  • For more stability, bend deeply into your standing knee
  • Enjoy a few rounds of breath as you both stretch and strengthen your hip external rotators
  • Repeat on your left side

 

5. Standing Twist Variation

Standing Twist
This Standing Twist Variation builds balance, proprioception, and improves circulations.

Let’s try it:

  • Standing at the top of your mat, transfer your weight onto your right leg
  • On an inhalation, reach your arms overhead, bend your left knee, and lift your leg to hip height
  • On an exhalation, twist your torso toward your bent knee
  • Reach your left arm toward the back of your mat and your right arm forward
  • Take a few rounds of breath, and then release and repeat on the other side

 

6. Lunge Pose

lunge
Basically every athlete needs strong legs so leg strengthening athletic yoga poses are perfect for just about any sport. Lunge Pose improves balance and builds strength in the major muscles in your legs.

Let’s try it:

  • Standing at the top of your mat, step your left leg back to the space behind you
  • On an inhalation, extend your arms alongside your ears
  • On an exhalation, draw your right thigh parallel to the mat and straighten your back leg
  • To modify, feel free to soften your back knee a bit but keep your back heel lifted
  • Take a few rounds of breath building stability and focus
  • Release and repeat on the other side

 

7. Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)

Pyramid
Pyramid Pose stretches your hamstring muscles for soft, supple legs and improved range of motion in your sport.

Let’s try it:

  • From Lunge Pose, lower your hands to blocks outside of your front foot and extend your front leg toward straight
  • Inhale, and lengthen your spine toward the front end of your space
  • Exhale, and forward bend over your front leg
  • Enjoy a few rounds of breath, and then release and repeat on the other side

 

8. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior3
Warrior III is the perfect athletic yoga pose to build balance, proprioception, and stamina.

Let’s try it:

  • From Lunge Pose, draw your hands together in prayer and tilt your torso forward on a diagonal
  • Transfer all your weight into your front foot and allow your back leg to lift off of the mat
  • Balance on your standing leg as you allow your entire body to become parallel with the earth
  • To modify, rest your hands on blocks, or to advance, extend your arms alongside your ears
  • Breath in this shape for several breaths
  • Repeat on the other side

 

9. Dancer’s Pose Variation (Natarajasana Variation)

Dancer variation
This Dancer’s Pose Variation stretches your quadriceps and hip flexors.

Let’s try it:

  • Standing at the top of your mat, transfer your weight onto your right leg
  • Bend your left knee, draw your heel toward your butt, and catch your foot with your left hand
  • If possible, hold onto your left foot with your right hand as well
  • Kick your foot back into your hand(s) to enhance the quadricep/hip flexor stretch
  • Hold for a few breaths, and then release and repeat on your left side

 

10. Goddess Pose Variation (Utkata Konasana Variation)

Goddess
This variation of Goddess Pose builds heat in your whole body while strengthening your calf muscles, quadriceps, and glutes.

Let’s try it:

  • Turn to the side of your mat, widen your stance, and draw your hands to heart center
  • Turn your toes out, draw your heels in, and bend your knees toward a 90-degree angle
  • On an inhalation, lift your right heel
  • On an exhalation, deepen the bend in both your knees
  • Continue that same action, alternating lifting your right and left heels for a few long, deep breaths

 
 

Use These Athletic Yoga Poses to Improve Your Game

Feel free to practice this sequence as a warm up or a cool down or opt to include these athletic yoga poses in your training regimen.

However you incorporate yoga into your routine, you will experience a plethora of physical benefits to improve your athletic performance. Enjoy your practice!

Athletes and Weekend Warriors: Here’s How to Use Yoga to Prevent Injuries

This article has been read 840 times. Share it and spread the love!

Comments

wonderful comments!

Denelle Numis

Denelle Jarro Numis is an advanced yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) based in San Francisco, California. In addition to her yoga credentials, Denelle has a B.S., an MBA, a love of travel and an impassioned zest for life. To learn more about Denelle check out her website or follow her on Instagram.

denelleyoga.com

shop background image
Explore our premium on-demand classes
with world-class instructors.

Psst. Every class you take helps plant a food-producing tree.

See the classes
Mind, body & life wellness in your inbox.

JOIN US ON THE GRAM LET’S HANG @YOU.ALIGNED

Send this to a friend
Follow us on Close

Already have an account? Login


Create an Account

New to site? Create an Account



- OR -

Login

Lost password?