Yoga and Rugby couldn’t be more far apart on the opposite ends of fitness spectrums if they tried. One is very inward, nurturing and restorative; the other is fast-paced, intense and often rough. However, despite their dramatic differences, they come together with surprising compatibility.
It’s widely acknowledged that in order to play Rugby well, players have to push their bodies to extreme fitness levels. What many people don’t know is just how many professional rugby players are turning to the mat to complement their training regimes.
Not only do yoga classes in Melbourne help Rugby players to improve strength, flexibility, control and endurance, but they can also deeply enhance professional athletic training regimes, by working to improve muscular posture, avoid injury and stimulate recovery.
Here are five yoga moves that Rugby players often use during their yoga classes in Melbourne to dramatically enhance their rugby training regime:
Seated Spinal Twist Pose
Many Rugby Players suffer back pain to some degree within their playing career. The pain most players experience in their back stems from postural misalignments. The spine can become twisted which then creates pain from the pressure on the nerve.
Seated spinal twist pose is one of the best poses to warm up or cool down the spine, and prevent or ease back pain. When done correctly, this deep, seated twist has the power to transform your spine. It boosts blood flow to the disks, builds strength and flexibility in the muscles that support the spine and stimulates the digestive fire.
Tightness in the hip flexors is a common soreness most Rugby players experience, because of all the running and mileage they clock up during the game. Pidgeon pose is one of the deepest opening stretches for the hip flexor. Physically, it stretches the hip flexors, opens gluteus minimus and maximus, and relaxes the piriformis and psoas muscles, which are all areas that are often tight for Rugby players.
In rugby, there’s a lot of dislocated shoulder trouble. If you have more flexibility in the arm, it becomes less of a problem. Dolphin pose is great for improving arm flexibility and strength. It also strengthens the core and legs, while nicely opening the shoulders, which might be tight for Rugby players who all rely on strong shoulders to throw the ball.
Downward facing dog
During a rugby game, muscle fibres, tendons and ligaments become damaged and waste products build up in the body, particularly in the calves, hamstrings, shoulders and arches. Downward facing dog is a great stretch for all four of these parts of the body. It strengthens the arms and legs, tones the core and waist, lengthens the hamstrings and calves, strengthens the back, and increases blood flow all over the body.
Reclining Hero’s pose
Rugby players are particularly vulnerable to injuries in the quadriceps as these are used extensively when kicking the ball. One of the best stretches for your quads is reclining heroes pose. This pose also increases mobility and blood flow in the hip flexors, thighs, and knees, whilst providing relief for aching and tired legs. It also stretches and strengthens the ankles, and improves flexibility in the spine.
At Kaya Health Clubs, we offer a range of different yoga Melbourne classes to deeply enhance and complement rugby training regimes. We are proud to be the official yoga partner of the Melbourne Storm. We help train a lot of the Melbourne Storm athletes, who come to our yoga studio in Melbourne regularly to help them build their strength, flexibility and endurance, whilst managing joint pain and injuries.