Kelvim Escobar and Yoga

I’m just wondering if anyone has seen the article in the July 2nd - 9th Sports Illustrated about Kelvim Escobar and how yoga has helped him.

It also shows 6 different parts of his routine showing how to do them and what they benefit.

The general consensus is that yoga is beneficial, in part, I think, because of its emphasis on stretching and flexibility. Most pitchers honestly don’t stretch enough or correctly. So by doing yoga, you’re committing to a program in which stretching and flexibility is the focus. That’s a good thing! But the same benefits can be accomplished by doing AIS (active isolated stretching) such as that found in my TUFFCUFF manual and on the Web. Stretching with a rope is equally beneficial, too.

But if it takes yoga to get you to commit to flexibility, by all means, do it!

Where’s ri star when you need him. He could preach to us how he’s the holy god of knowledge on baseball training and how he has been right all along. Drats I guess he’s not around.

It’s a pretty interesting article and I learned alot from it.

I’m right here lol And I told you so.

Yoga is good for:
Stable Strong back but flexible
Stablity of the whole body and joints
Good for relaxation and focus
Works to get ride of DOMS {Delayed on set muscle soreness} THATS A BIG THING IN MY BOOK.

NOW I TOLD YOU SO? I’m only kidding but it really has helpped me in the last couple mounths and is very relaxing thing to do. And if you think baseball is all about hip/shoulder seperation then YOGA can help with that.

Does anyone have pictures they could show me of the exercises or tell me about them or something.

do i hav to buy a yoga tape or are there any simple stretches that will give me the same effect?

If you ever want to buy a yoga DVD the best in the biz is.

Thanks for the positive feedback regarding the article. Yoga develops core strength, increases stamina, enhances focus, promotes flexibility & MOST IMPORTANTLY GENTLEMEN, PREVENTS INJURY!! I have had the privilege of working with several pro athletes, mostly pitchers…unfortunately for them, it has been in a rehab situation.
There are 100s of yoga poses…5 of the 6 in the article are essential…crow is pretty to look at , but for advanced students, Escobar does not do that in his regular yoga practice. Do not try as a beginner.
Keep stretching!

“If you don’t bend, you’ll break”
~Alyssa Dinowitz

Real Men Do Yoga , is a great book, I give it to all of my clients.
Eddie George is on the cover…unintimidating read & easy to follow. Tim Salmon carried it around everywhere after I gave it to him!

Good thing im starting yoga this tuesday :smiley:

Great thing! If you have never tried it, PLEASE listen to your body. Yoga is non-competitive & meant to improve flexibility over time. Develop your yoga “practice”…meaning it will always be improving & don’t push yourself to the point of injury. This will only be counter productive! Good luck!

I have a question about yoga, as I know relatively little about it.
Are there any poses designed to increase flexibility and/or Range of Motion, in the Lumbar Spine?

I would start with cat/cow (on hands & knees), reclined twist (right & left), and gentle seated forward bend. Will explain in further detail if you need. Hams & low back are so closely related…sometimes hamstring flexibility will ease back tightness.
:smiley: hope that helps!

I’m rather open minded, but I’m curious as to a few things in yoga. They are a couple pet peaves if you will. Yes I see value in yoga, but as with most things I think it is far from perfect.

Isn’t the lumbar spine supposed to be stable? It’s a well designed pattern IMO, if you go through the kinetic chain, stability/mobility flips.
Ankle-Mobility, Knee-Stability, Hip-Mobility, Lumbar Spine-Stability, Thoracic Spine-Mobility.

It seems that the cow pose creates hyperextension? Since the vast majority of the population has anterior pelvic tilt, an already injury prone problem, why would you ever want to reinforce that tilt with hyperextension?

What good could the cat pose ever produce? The cat pose appears to have intense rounding of the entire spine. Why would you want to remove the natural arch of the lumbar spine and create a shearing force between the vertebrae? That would seem to be hazard to the majority of people.

Reclined Twists are a great way to pop ones back and all. But aren’t you creating in instability in what should be a stable region of the body? Instability=injury. I firmly believe there are limits to good and healthy flexilibility and range of motion.

I understand that hamstring flexibility can ease back tightness. But I don’t think people should worry that much about hamstring flexibility directly.
First off you can potentially take away the elastic energy of one of the most useful muscles in the body at a point. Although most people are not at that point.
The main reason is this; people have tight hamstrings because of terribly tight hip flexors and quadriceps. A cause and effect relationship.
People spend endless hours seated. This causes shortened hip flexors and quads. As the hip flexors shorten they tip the hips forward. As your hips are tipped forward your hamstrings are forced to remain in a longer position than they should have to be in, and a stretching motion isn’t a regular stretch as they are already stretch, you are stretching the muscle to an extreme. Anterior pelvic tilt is what’s to blame for the insane amount of hamstring pulls in sports today.

Also is any hamstring stretching done unilateral? Or is it all bilateral?

Is there anything in yoga that focuses on stretching the hip flexors and getting people to properly activate their glutes? Anterior pelvic tilt would also make the glutes largely inactive. And I don’t think there is anything worse than not utilizing a large and powerful muscle. Not even for the sake of better performance. But for the sake the body will compensate and in the long term this compensation will result in injury.

Within the stretching is there a goal to improve posture? If so, how is this accomplished.

I apologize for my quasi-rant, I am someone on the outside looking in on this topic, so I’m interested in picking the brain of someone that’s accomplished in the discipline. But I haven’t actually gotten to talk to a yoga instructor on any of these topics and it’s possible I’m way off base.

Thanks for your responses.

Thanks so much for your inquiry.
Where to start??

First of all I don’t want you to overthink every pose. Before I set up a routine for a pitcher, I run each pose by an orthopedic surgeon I konw and get his opinion. Also I get to talk to their strenghth and conditioning pitching coaches.

The goal of yoga in all atheletes is to
a. Prevent injury
b. Strenghten certain muscle groups which are rarely addressed in traditional strenghthening programs.
c. Help with breathing and relaxation, which can help the athelete concentrate during stressfull times (in his/her sport)

As far as specifically answering your questions:
The lumbar spine certainly needs stability, yet by stretching the muscle units you are by definition, conditioning those very muscles. As in all good training each stretch requires a counterstretch. (agonist and antagonist muscles.) Lumbar Cat-Cow does just that, it strengthens one while stretching the other and vice-versa. It is not a “shearing” force, which is known as translational forces, but it is simply alternatively stretching/strengthening both anterior and posterior units around the vertabrae. This keeps not only the muscles healthy, but also the ligaments around the vertabrae and can help in reducing discogenic injury.(i.e. the ligaments have been pre-stressed and can tolerate a sudden injury better than non “pre-stressed” ligaments.)

You are right about excessive anterior tilt of the pelvis. Most believe this is a direct result of tight hamstrings. The hamstring muscles originate on the posterior pelvis, when they are tight the pelvis is tilted and subsequently the lumbar vertabrae become stressed. THerefore hamstring strethching should be foremost in loosening up (and strenghtening!!) the lower back. When the hams are loose, the pelvis and low back are more relaxed and this is paramount in preventing injuries and allowing one to strenghthen the low back now that it is in the more normal (relaxed) anatomic position. Then one can begin to work on core strenghthening and further stabilize the low back/abs.

Now I am tired just thinking about all this.
Hope it helps

Thanks for the response.

One last question.

Do you believe there is a point achieved where you no longer want increased flexibility/ROM. I ask this as I know the recent trend of studies criticizing static stretching prior to activities as it removes muscle elasticity.

Could you possibly limit the amount of stored energy created if your muscles are loose enough the never get to the full stretch/store of energy.

thoeretically, you could lose strength. i think you can “overstretch” not to a point of instability…but i usually stretch my pitchers the most after they’ve pitched and a day or 2 before. they always do yoga-inspired yoga stretches before a game…but not 60-90 minutes like we do when i teach them…(60-90 includes all muscle groups). And yes, there are lots of unilateral hamsting stretches…Head to Knee pose, revolved head to knee pose, modified heron pose with a strap, extended hand to big toe stretch with a strap (supine).etc…there are many :slight_smile: