Personal trainers and coaches in all sports include core exercises as part of training. Yoga has always emphasized the central muscles that are the foundation of the entire trunk. Core muscles include more than the front abdominal muscles that people refer to as a six-pack.
American football includes many positions, and each requires different stretches to maximize performance. This chapter outlines the poses that all football players need to help prevent injuries and enhance their performance on the field.
The ultimate yoga resource for athletes offers instruction on improving
strength, flexibility, and balance in any sport or activity. Packed with
full-color photos, the book demonstrates poses, breathing, and guided
visualization to elevate sport performance.
If you are a member of the HK Rewards Program, when buying a new print edition of this book, you
will be granted the option for downloading the e-book edition at no additional charge. Learn more.
From the gridiron to the hard court, today’s top athletes know the benefits of yoga. It’s why so many have made it an essential component in their training and conditioning programs. Now you can too with Yoga for Athletes.
Author and instructor Ryanne Cunningham has worked with some of the top names in sports. She’s helped keep some of the toughest NFL players on the field, and top endurance athletes run longer and stronger. Her step-by-step instruction, expert advice, and pose variations focus on active muscles and movements across sports such as these:
Yoga for Athletes is designed for every athlete, from weekend enthusiast to professional. Using demonstrations of the physical poses, breathing, and guided visualization, you’ll improve performance, reduce the risk of injury, and maximize training results.
Your secret to improved strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and performance is Yoga for Athletes.
Part I: What Yoga Can Do for Athletes Chapter 1. Yoga to Improve Your Performance Chapter 2. Yoga Basics to Get Started Chapter 3. Warm-Up Poses
Part II: Poses for Athletes Chapter 4. Finding Your Base: Hips Chapter 5. Staying Loose in the Legs: Hamstrings and Quads Chapter 6. Strong From Your Center: Spine and Core Chapter 7. Power at the Top: Shoulders, Arms, and Neck Chapter 8. Wake Up Those Critical Small Muscles: Balance Poses
Part III: Sequences for Specific Sports and Activities Chapter 9. Football: Different Stretches for Different Positions Chapter 10. Runners: Not Just Legs Chapter 11. Soccer Players: Bringing Balance to the Workout Chapter 12. Bicyclists: Freeing Tight Hips and a Stressed Upper Body Chapter 13. Baseball and Softball: Guard Those Joints Chapter 14. Swimmers: Stretch Those Shoulders and Back Chapter 15. Tennis: Quick Bursts of Motion Chapter 16. Basketball: Explosive Movement Chapter 17. Golf: Lengthen and Rotate the Spine Chapter 18. Bringing Yoga to Power Workouts: Enhance Your Strength Building
Part IV: Putting It All Together: Breathe, Balance, and Stay in the Zone Chapter 19. Cool-Down and Meditation for Success: Get in the Zone! Chapter 20. Visualize and Achieve
About the Author
Ryanne Cunningham, RYT 200, RYT 500, is a longtime resident of
the Green Bay area. She operates Flow Yoga Studio, where she trains
Green Bay Packers football players Randall Cobb, Tramon Williams, B.J.
Raji, Jarrett Bush, Mike Neal, Andy Mulumba, and others as well as
athletes from many other sports in both group and private yoga sessions.
Cunningham obtained her 500-hour RYT Advanced Teacher Training
certification in 2012 through a yoga center in Green Bay, where she has
practiced and taught since 2002. She earned her 200-hour RYT in 2002 at
Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham, Virginia, and holds a Power Yoga for
Since 2002 Cunningham has owned and operated Advanced Massage Therapy.
Her education in massage therapy covered topics such as human anatomy,
biology, and kinesiology, which she uses in her yoga teachings and
practices. She uses her personal experience in sports and fitness in
teaching students proper stretching and alignment, which benefit all
Cunningham has been featured in numerous national and local
publications, including Yoga Journal, the Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel, and Mantra Magazine.
"Ryanne’s approach to yoga has made a dramatic difference in how I
move on and off the field. My muscles are looser, I recover more
quickly, and I’m primed for game day."
Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers
"Since I’ve started working with Ryanne, my improved flexibility,
balance, and core strength have benefitted my on-field performance and
helped me avoid injury. Yoga for Athletes offers you the same
Michael J. Neal II-- Linebacker, Green Bay Packers
"Practicing yoga with Ryanne has help me enhance my athleticism,
recovery, and focus so I can perform at a higher level during games.
Through the practice of yoga I've found a part of the recipe for
longevity in my profession."
Tramon Williams-- Cornerback, Cleveland Browns
“I was intimidated by yoga because I felt that I wasn't flexible
enough after a major ankle injury. Ryanne taught me about
the connections between the mind and body, and her visualization and
meditation techniques helped me boost my performance on and off the
court. I will continue to practice and use those elements long after my
athletic career ends.”
Keifer Sykes - Austin Spurs, NBA Development League
“This book is well-rounded, conveying what works and why it works in
a way that’s applicable to all kinds of people. Cunningham has deep
knowledge of yoga and impressive experience training athletes (including
Green Bay Packers players), but her wisdom is also broad, covering
massage, physiology, and more. Clear photos make the positions easy to
emulate, and they portray a range of body types, many of them men’s.
More medical diagrams, such as those of muscle groups, offer deeper
understanding to promote safety along with good results.”