Aaaaand we’re back with the Softball Yoga Series: Game 2! This is the second post in the series, and winners get to advance to the Injury-Free Championship.
As dumb as that intro line was, there’s a lot of truth what’s said above. This post is a continuation of Softball Yoga Series: Game 1, where we went over three poses that can help players of various athletic abilities and ages avoid injury while playing this fun and competitive sport.
Let’s get moving!
4. Utkatasana with Kapotasana (Chair with Pigeon Pose)
Pigeon is a great pose to open the outer hips, and can be done in just about any position from laying on your back to seated to standing. But more importantly, it feels soooooo good. In fact, I’m doing it right now as I type. The picture above shows a variation of pigeon in chair pose, which requires extra balance, but you can take the balance part out by just sitting on a bench.
- Opens the hips and thighs
- Increases external range of motion of femur in hip socket
- Stretches the booty muscles
- Promotes balance
- Ankle rests on thigh right above the knee, if accessible.
- Flex the foot to protect the ankle and knee.
- Spine is long and flat with the chest reaching forward.
- Hinge at the hips.
5. Ardha Malasana (Half Squat)
Ardha malasana, or half squat, is both a buildup to and a more intense version of the next pose, which I realize makes no sense, but if you try them for yourself, you’ll get it. Basically, this pose is easier on the groin, but more intense in the hamstrings.
- Stretches and strengthens the groin muscles
- Promotes flexibility and mobility in the hips and hammies
- Improves balance and core strength
- Recommended for runners… and softball players
- Toes of outstretched leg point to the sky, while toes of the bent leg point out at about 45 degrees.
- Heel of the squatting leg can be off the ground, balancing on the ball of the foot.
- Feel free to touch the fingertips to the earth in front of you to stay balanced.
- Spine is straight and tall.
6. Malasana (Squat)
My teammates poke fun of me now and then because I’m pretty much always in this pose while waiting for my turn to bat, but I just love it. As opposed to the previous half squat, this pose focuses more on the groin and low back.
- Opens the hips and groin
- Promotes flexibility in the ankles and lower hamstrings
- Stretches the back and neck and soothes some causes of backache
- Tones the abdominals
- Try to keep the heels grounded into the earth — keeping the toes pointed out and pulling at a fence or sitting up against a wall will help with balance.
- Use the elbows to push the knees away and deepen the stretch.
- Drop the shoulders away from the ears.
- Once again, keep the spine tall.