Basketball and Wrestling: Two Great Reasons to Take Yoga

In 1981, a young Herschel Walker admitted to studying ballet at the University of Georgia.  According to Walker, “Ballet really works your body.  Most people (not just guys) don’t have the guts to step into a ballet class.  Truth is ballet is great for athletes.”

Today, that same truth can be said for yoga.  Athletes and yoga enthusiasts alike look to the discipline as the best way to improve overall health, wellbeing and sports performance.  Similar to football players in the 80s, many top basketball players, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar practice yoga.  They proclaim the benefits of strength; improved flexibility and making them “lighter on their feet” that can’t be found with other forms of conditioning.

Winter Sport Season Begins

As we head into the winter sports season, remember that reducing the chance for sports injuries means keeping the body in peak performance all year round.  Properly warming up and stretching the muscles through yoga may be one of the best ways to keep you in the game.  It may even make you stand out from other athletes.  So if you’re looking to make a team, find a yoga class or YouTube video or buy a DVD, and start practicing yoga today. 

Leading Basketball Injuries The fast-paced action of basketball can cause a wide range of afflictions.  The most common high school and college basketball injuries that need advanced sports treatment include:

  1. Ankle sprains
  2. Bruising and other injuries to the hip and thigh
  3. Jammed fingers

Top Wrestling Injuries

Twisting and bending your body into odd positions is a realistic part of wrestling.  This makes sprains and tears of the ligaments a serious and persistent wrestling risk. Watch out for these common injuries:

  1. Knee ligament strains and tears (ACL tears and MCL sprains)
  2. Bursitis of the knee cap (pain and swelling around the knee)
  3. Shoulder dislocation

Injured?  We Can Help 

We see athletes as young as 13 through senior weekend warriors.   Call us at 404-255-5595.

Seven Ways Yoga Can Help Elevate your Game and Reduce Injury Risk

  1. IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCE: One of the biggest benefits of Yoga.  Considerable research has proven that Yoga improves performance through the use of specific poses that target flexibility and coordination. Many people work out on elliptical trainers and stationary bikes which are great for cardio fitness but do little for balance and flexibility.
  2. INCREASE CORE STRENGTH: Standing poses; twists, balancing and inversion poses all require and build abdominal strength and stability.
  3. MENTAL:  Yoga has been shown to decrease stress, fight anxiety and promote mental clarity and calmness.
  4. INFLAMMATION: Inflammation can lead to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  Yoga can help reduce inflammation.
  5. HEART DISEASE:  By promoting blood flow throughout the entire body, yoga helps improve heart health.
  6. CHRONIC PAIN:  Specific studies show that yoga can help reduce pain and increase functionality
  7. BREATHING: Improving breathing can help build endurance, increase stamina, optimize performance and keep your lungs and heart healthy.

The Bottom Line:

Regular, consistent yoga practice is the best way to achieve the many physical and mental benefits of yoga, but it’s never too late to get started.  Our Foot & Ankle Specialist, Dr. Paul Spiegl practices yoga at least 6 times a week.  He commented, “Yoga has changed my life!  The practice of yoga has given me the core strength and flexibility to more than meet the demands of long days and difficult surgeries.”

Here’s a resource to help you on your way.

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