Yoga in basketball
An old photo of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the famous NBA player of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, recently caught my eye. Below the photo there was a small excerpt from an interview of his in a well-known american magazine where he said that he would not have been able to play for such a long time, if he hadn’t been practicing yoga.
And it is the truth… those of you who practice an aerobic sport, such as basketball, have a lot to gain if you include yoga in your training. An hour of practicing yoga per week – whichever type of yoga you choose – will help improve the overall condition of your health, your well-being and at the same time your performance, providing you with a more integrated and balanced training program.
Here are 3 of the ways in which yoga can help you!
You will play a better defense.
When you are facing a fast and flexible opponent, you need to have prompt reactions and to be able to change direction in a split second. Yoga can significantly aid in this, since it improves the mobility of the hips and your observations skills.
You will have fewer injuries.
Aerobic exercise leads to shortening of the muscles, which lose their flexibility, thus resulting to an increase on the possibilities of an injury, such asstrains. Yoga contributes to limiting the number of injuries, stretching the muscles and improving the muscular flexibility.
In addition, the better we know our bodies, the better we perceive our capabilities and the warning signs it gives. Therefore, we are in a position to prevent unpleasant situations and to not exceed our limits.
You will have more stamina.
Basketball is an endurance sport and in order to be able to endure, you must learn to breathe properly.Yoga will teach you breathing control techniques during the training and the game and this way you will be able to acquire more stamina.
You will get taller.
Oh, yes! Yoga not only strengthens the muscles, but at the same time stretches them. Many of its poses help “lengthen” the spine, decompressing the vertebra and improving your body’s posture.Thus, you gain a few extra centimeters, which are so important in this sport!
Yoga’s fan list also includes Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Love, Kevin Garnett, Blake Griffin and James LeBron.