A guest article by our expert Katharina Brinkmann about flexibility training and yoga in football.
When it gets cold and dark outside, it's just the right time to move one or two training sessions indoors - or maybe even try something completely new.
Why not work on your agility and mobility?
The best football players in the world are characterized by fast dribbling and smooth movements.
The most important basis for this: mobility.
With this flexibility routine from yoga, you'll stretch exactly those parts of your body that lose mobility through everyday training on the football field.
It's not about touching your toes with your fingertips or doing spectacular contortions on the mat.
You're supposed to feel good while doing it, and flexible and supple afterwards.
This mini yoga flow is straightforward to do. You connect the postures fluently with each other.
You can find another flow to improve your flexibility in football here.
You can also keep single exercises longer or pick single combinations of exercises and repeat them several times.
In the exercise descriptions you will find all the important information about the execution and what else to pay attention to.
The complete video will be available soon in the B42 training app.
Full yoga breathing cross-legged
Come into a comfortable and upright cross-legged position. If sitting upright is difficult, feel free to sit on a cushion or rolled blanket. Straighten your spine and let your shoulders sink softly back and down.
Close your eyes and relax your face - the cheeks, mouth and jaw all loose and relaxed.
Breathe deeply and consciously in and out through the nose into the abdomen.
Breathe four to five times.
Spinal mobilization flow
Grasp your knees with both hands and roll your entire back round to the back.
Exhale as you do so. Straighten up as you inhale.
Push your chest far forward and up and consciously pull your shoulder blades together.
The whole front of the upper body is open and stretched.
Bend and stretch at the beginning for three to four breaths.
With the next inhale, bring your arms stretched up over your side.
With the exhale, lean over from the hips into the right side.
With the inhale, come back to the middle and again extend the arms long upward.
With the next exhale, again tilt from the hips into the side. This time move to the left side.
Inhaling come back to the middle.
With the next exhalation, rotate the entire upper body to the right side. Also rotate your head to the side so that your entire spine comes into rotation.
With the inhale, return to the middle and extend the arms long upward.
With the next exhale, rotate to the left side and come back inhaling.
This small spinal flow can be repeated as often as desired and is a great way to mobilize the spine through all of its range of motion.
While sitting, place your heels shoulder-width apart and support yourself with your hands behind your buttocks. The spine is erect; the shoulders move away from the ears.
Begin to rotate the knees from side to side, alternating smoothly. The upper body remains stable.
Repeat the pendulum two to three times on each side.
Remain with both knees on the right side so that the right leg turns outward and the left leg turns inward. The weight shifts to the right buttock side.
Rotate the torso to the right side as well, resting the forearms on the floor. Actively push the left knee into the floor. Exhale as you do so.
With the inhale, straighten back up and come back to he middle with the knees. With the next exhale, rotate to the left side.
First with the knees and then bring the upper body along as well.
Alternate smoothly between the left and right sides, or hold each side for two to three breaths.
Firmly plant the feet and again actively draw the shoulder blades toward each other. With the next inhale, lift your buttocks and push your hips up forcefully so that your thighs and torso form a parallel line with the floor.
Lower again with the exhale.
Repeat lifting with inhale and lowering with exhale three times.
Single leg forward bend
While sitting upright, extend the left leg forward. Bring the right foot up to the level of the left knee and let the right knee drop outward.
Now the right knee points outward and the left leg is extended forward.
Straighten up by stretching the arms upwards with the inhale and bend forward over the left leg with the exhale.
See if you can grip the tops of your feet.
Straighten up from the one-legged forward bend. While doing so, describe a large semicircle overhead to the back right with the right arm.
Rotate the entire torso to the right side. Grasp your right knee with your left hand and let the knee point to the ceiling again.
Inhale as you do this.
Combine the one-legged forward bend and the twisting seat into one movement flow. With an exhalation, lean forward into the forward bend. The right knee points outward.
Inhaling straighten up and turn the upper body to the right side.
Repeat this small flow for three breaths before switching to the other side.
Seated Bend Forward
Now extend both legs forward. Straighten your spine again with a strong inhale. With an exhale, come forward into a forward bend with a long spine.
Hang your head and fully relax your shoulder and neck.
Straighten up again with the inhale.
To relax and stretch the back of the legs and back muscles, also feel free to stay in the forward bend for four to five breaths and consciously sink forward with the exhale.
Open the stretched legs about 45 degrees outward. The tips of the feet point upward toward the ceiling.
Straighten the spine and lean forward from the hips. Walk the hands forward. From there, hike to the right and left sides to vary the stretch in the inner thigh.
Begin to gently rock into the stretch.
Keep the spine stretched.
The point is not to come down particularly far, but to straighten the pelvis forward so that the stretch is felt in the inner thigh and the strain on the spine remains low.
Remain in the seated straddle for two to three breaths and vary the direction of movement.
Clasp your knees with your hands and roll backwards onto your mat with a rounded back. Keeping your knees clasped, gently begin to move your knees from side to side that your lower back rolls across the mat.
The pendulum motion to the right and left can also become circular movements - clockwise and counterclockwise.
Massage for two to three breaths. At the end of a longer routine or after a workout, feel free to do it a little longer.
Lying buttock stretch
Remain in the supine position. Place the left foot on the floor close behind the buttocks. Rest the right foot on the left thigh with the outside of the ankle.
The right knee then points to the right side. Grasp the back of your left thigh with both hands and pull the left thigh toward the torso.
This will also pull the right leg in and a slight stretch will be felt on the right buttock.
If you pull the left leg a centimeter further to the left, the stretch will be felt a little more intensely on the right buttock side.
Untie the "knot" by releasing your hands from the thigh and placing your feet back down. Then switch to the other side.
Hold each side for at least two to three seconds.
As you do this, exhale to deepen the stretch a bit by pulling the leg closer and then inhale to release it a bit.
If you have sciatic pain, you can hold the exercise longer.
Place your left leg stretched out on the mat and bend your right knee. Grasp the outside of your right knee with your left hand and pull your right leg over to your left side.
The hip rotates to the left side as you do this. To move the entire spine into rotation, consciously open the upper body to the right side.
The gaze moves to the right palm and you consciously place the right shoulder to the floor again.
Then switch to the other side.
Breathe deeply in and out two to three times on each side.
Consciously use your breathing here to support the relaxation. Breathe out two to three moments longer than you breathe in, consciously letting yourself sink into the mat with gravity as you exhale.
The Prone Buttock Stretches and the Prone Twist can also be combined. To do this, first perform both exercises on the right side and then on the left.
Yoga exercises for footballers also in the B42 app
We at B42 have also recognized for many years what great benefits yoga offers to all football players.
For this reason, some yoga flows will soon be available in our B-42 training app.
Several of our exercises from the MobilityLab - a special training program for your mobility as an app for IOS and ANDROID - are based on different yoga poses. With this, you can fight your injuries in the long term and sustainably.
Our Gamechanger is also influenced and inspired by yoga on the days that focus on mobility for athletes.
Above all, these sessions, whose relevance is often underestimated, significantly reduce the frequency of injuries and thus ultimately increase performance to the next level.
With these training exercises, you can tinker with the best form of your soccer career every day at home like the pros - there's never been anything like it!
Download the B42 Football app directly now:
Let's change football together forever.
About the author
After her studies (M.A. Health Sciences), she fulfilled her big dream of owning her own yoga studio in 2015. Since July 2019 she is active in Munich and teaches in different studios.
Her passion is flowing vinyasa flows and of course fascia yoga. Yoga, movement and health inspire her not only on the yoga mat. In addition to her active practice, she is also an author for yoga and fitness guides and writes for various training magazines and journals.
In addition, she offers strategies as well as helpful tips for improving the quality of sleep.Here, sleep phases, body positions and important other parameters are clearly presented and classified - to finally act with full battery in everyday life again.