Technique Tuesday — Yoga for Basketball Players (Jasyoga Hip Strength and Mobility Sequence)

Let’s face it, ballers — you’re nothing without your defensive stance. Getting low is key to getting stops on “D,” and requires a unique combination of both strength and mobility in your hips. To rotate your thigh bones and allow that defense-ready turnout in your legs, your hips have to be strong to provide stability and mobile enough to help track the knees properly over the ankles. Knee injuries are a legit threat to hoopers, and this hip stuff we’re talking about is some serious preventative medicine. So get limber and get low!

Try it: Yoga for Basketball Players — Jasyoga hip strength and mobility sequence

In this 9-minute video, Jasyoga Head Coach Erin Taylor further explains the importance of hip strength and mobility for basketball players and other athletes of all kinds. She coaches you through a sequence to build your awareness of how to properly rotate your thighs in your hip joints — improving your agility, your ability to get down on D, and more.

Follow the video tutorial (above) or follow the sequence below to help you warm-up pre-practice or workout, or to cross-train on an off day. Use your ball if you can!

  • Step your feet wide apart, turning your heels in and toes out (just like a defensive stance)
  • Hold your ball and reach your arms overhead
  • Exhaling, bend your knees to come down into a squat (again, just like D) with your arms and ball overhead — be sure to track your knees over your ankles — and hold for 3 deep breaths
  • Inhaling, straighten your legs
  • Exhaling, bend your knees to return to your defensive stance — continuing to track your knees over your ankles
  • Continue moving to the rhythm of your breath for 5–10 deep breaths
  • Return to your low stance — hold for 3 more deep breathes
  • Straighten your legs and turn your feet parallel
  • Fold forward (into a wide leg forward fold), bringing your ball to the ground just under your chest
  • Shake out your head and relax your neck
  • Staying down in your wide leg forward fold, rock your weight forward and back across the soles of your feet — feeling how that changes the stretch in your hamstrings
  • Find an even center on your feet and stop there
  • Lengthen your spine parallel to the ground as you turn your heels in/toes out again
  • Bend your knees and drop your butt to return to your defensive stance, with your knees tracking over your ankles
  • Put your left hand on your ball, just under your chest and twist your torso to the right as you reach your right arm up — hold for 5 deep breaths before switching sides/twisting in the other direction
  • Straighten your legs and turn your feet parallel
  • Fold forward (into a wide leg forward fold), bringing your ball to the ground just under your chest
  • Shake out your head and relax your neck
  • Inhaling, lengthen your spine parallel to the ground
  • Exhaling, bring your hands to your hips, open to the sides like airplane wings, or long overhead so that your torso hovers parallel to the ground — hold for 3 deep breaths
  • Rise to stand and turn your heels in/toes out
  • Return to your defensive stance — this time with your hands on your thighs so that you hold your weight with your upper body and your shoulders shrug toward your ears
  • Rock side to side, tracking your knees over your ankles — continue for 5 deep breaths
  • Come to stillness and slowly give your weight back to your legs
  • Bring your right forearm to your right thigh and stretch your left arm over head as you side bend to the right — hold for 5 deep breathes before switching sides
  • Rise to stand and return the feet to hip’s width apart
  • Shake out your legs

Now go tear it up on defense!

Erin TaylorComment