Three Yoga Poses Every Pitcher Should Try | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Three Yoga Poses Every Pitcher Should Try

May 15, 2011

Must See Baseball Videos

Stretching and staying loose are important for all baseball players, but especially for pitchers. Tight shoulders, biceps, hips and glutes will limit a pitcher's ability to execute the windup and the pitch—and leave him susceptible to a number of muscle-related injuries.

To stay loose and effective throughout the long baseball season, players should practice yoga, which is increasingly popular among athletes [read more on yoga for athletes].

Here are three yoga positions that are particularly beneficial for pitchers.

1. Cow Face Pose [Shoulders]

This pose stretches the shoulders. Yoga for Sports expert Gwen Lawrence calls it an obvious choice for pitchers, because "it opens and clears the rotator cuff while strengthening the supporting back muscles to add power." It will help you fire fastball after fastball without increasing your risk of injury.

Sit with your bent right knee on top of your bent left knee. Flatten your butt to the floor and align your hips with your straight spine. Raise your right arm, bend the elbow and place your right palm on your back. Lift your left arm to the side, palm facing back and thumb pointing down; bend your left elbow and move your left hand behind your back, palm facing out. Try to hook your fingers together behind your back while energetically lifting your right elbow toward the ceiling.

If you cannot hook your fingers together, hold a towel in your right hand and grab it with your left. “This pose may be frustrating in the beginning,” says Lawrence;  “however, the shoulders have a tendency to open quickly, so stay focused and determined and results will come quickly.”

Hold the pose between one and five minutes; switch sides.

2. Table Pose [Biceps]

Stretching  the biceps is critical for pitchers. The bicep on your throwing arm must comfortably lengthen with each pitch. Use Table Pose to stretch your biceps while strengthening your back.

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your palms on the floor behind your hips and under your shoulders. Press both your palms and feet into the ground while lifting your hips until your thighs and torso form a straight line. Hold for two or three deep breaths, then lower back down softly. Repeat.

3. Pigeon Pose [Glutes, Hip Flexors]

For ace pitchers, the arm isn’t everything. Flexible hips and legs are also essential. The Pigeon Pose will take care of those tight glutes and hips, so you can powerfully push off your legs and follow through without pulling a muscle.

Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Slide your right knee forward between your hands while sliding your left leg straight back, until your left hip and right heel are in line. Press down with your hands and lift your chest. Look up, roll your shoulders down and arch your back. Keep stretching the left leg back. Hold for two or three deep breaths, then release. Repeat on opposite side.

For an additional challenge to your hip flexor, bend your left knee and raise your left leg off the ground. Raise your left arm, reach back and grab your left foot with your left hand. Gently pull to deepen the stretch in your hip flexor.

These three poses can be performed within 10 to 15 minutes, easily fitting into your busy schedule. Include them into your post-workout and/or post-game cool down.


Joe Baur
- Joe Baur is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Miami University [Oxford, OH]. He became certified with the National...
Joe Baur
- Joe Baur is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Miami University [Oxford, OH]. He became certified with the National...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

4 Goals and 23 Movements for an Effective Athletic Warm-Up

Pro Secrets, Revealed: The Perfect Workout Warm-Up

The Ultimate Pitcher's Warm-Up: 4 Shoulder Exercises with Bands

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

Pre-Match Warm-Ups that Will Improve Your Tennis Game

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

Find Your Effective Pregame Basketball Warm-Up

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout

Reducing Tight Hamstrings without Stretching for Hockey Players

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

How Hockey Goalies Can Get More Flexible for a Better Butterfly

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

Patrick Peterson's Yoga Workout

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

Improve Your Squat With 6 At-Home Hip Flexor Mobility Exercises

3 Yoga Twists to Keep You on the Field and Improve Your Game

Stay Pain-Free With These Advanced Stretches

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

Best Exercises for Improving Joint Mobility

Improve Your Balance with Stability Ball Exercises

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

12 Dynamic Stretches Football Players Must Do

Why and When You Need to Change Your Pre-Game Warm-Up Routine

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

Pre-Workout Warm-Up Steps You Can't Afford to Skip

Why Athletes Should Practice Yoga

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

A Tight Back May Hurt Your Performance and Health