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Ask the Lab: Yoga

Ask the Lab Triangle
Triangle pose (trikonasana)
Ask the Lab Warrior II
Warrior II pose (virabhadrasana II)
Ask the Lab Tree Pose
Tree pose (vrksasana)
PLEASE NOTE: The medical opinions in USTA.com's Ask the Lab are responses intended for the average player. Please consult with your primary physician before beginning any new exercise program.

Question: Is Yoga good for tennis players?

Many tennis players, professional players included, have embraced yoga to help them improve their game. Yoga, which is practiced by performing a series of poses, known as asanas, develops both strength and flexibility, in addition to improving one’s balance. Tennis players, who typically have tight hips, quads and hamstrings, can perform specific poses to improve these areas of weakness.

Poses that tennis players should incorporate into their training include:
• Warrior II pose (virabhadrasana II)
• Tree pose (vrksasana)
• Triangle pose (trikonasana)
• Spinal Twist pose (ardha matsyendransana)

While yoga challenges the physical body, there is also a mental component, meditation. Research indicates regular meditation trains the mind to relax and improves concentration. For tennis players, regular meditation translates into improved on court performance as they are able to channel all of their energy into the match.

Because of the recent rise in yoga’s popularity, yoga classes are offered in most gyms and fitness centers. Check your local gym or fitness center for class offerings. It is also important to consult your physician prior to starting a new exercise program.

About the Author:
Jessica Battaglia, MS, ATC, joined the USTA Player Development staff in March 2006. As the Coaching Education Assistant, her role has her working closely with both the Coaching Education and Sport Science Departments. Jessica earned her Master’s degree in Sport Management from Barry University in 2005 and her Exercise & Sport Science degree with a specialization in Athletic Training in 2001 from the University of Florida. She is also a certified yoga instructor.

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