NEW YORK (AP) — During the mandatory rookie camp back in June Wayne Gallman Jersey , the New York Giants required players to take a yoga class. Running back Robert Martin walked in, looked around at his new teammates and thought, man, this is crazy.
“We usually don’t do yoga,” he said. “We stretch, but we don’t do yoga.”
Even as a first-timer, though, Martin immediately knew how the two were different .
“It definitely felt weirder than regular stretching,” he said. “It was a lot harder because you have to sit in certain positions we’ve never been in before.”
Players like New York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams and Giants quarterback Davis Webb prefer yoga because it requires a set amount of time dedicated to the practice. That is the activity . They can focus on their body without worries of what’s next and feel an immediate difference afterward.
The poses in yoga are more beneficial than typical stretching because they incorporate all parts of the body into the movements, Los Angeles Chargers Director of Football/Medical Services James Collins said. Stretching is linear. Yoga is non-linear, helping multidirectional joints such as the elbow, wrist, ankle, hip and shoulder.
All of the major joints are encased in a capsule and contain fluid to help prevent friction between bones. Yoga helps maintain the capsules.
“I describe it to (a player) as really thick saran wrap that covers his joint so that the fluid stays in there,” said Collins, also the Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society president. “But at the same time Tim Williams Jersey , that saran wrap needs to have its flexibility — keep it stretched out — so the join can function properly.”
Joint integrity comes down to maintaining mobility, he said. Because yoga is a multidirectional exercise, it allows the joint to move in every direction it can.
Take the hip. Downward dog, pigeon pose or runner’s lunge are just some of the yoga poses that benefit the hip. Downward dog alone has multiple variations to stretch the hip in different directions.
“But if we lay down on the floor at home and just pull our leg straight up over our head, that’s linear,” Collin said. “So that joint is only getting work in that direction.”
The knee is not multidirectional, he said, which is why it’s so vulnerable to getting hurt. It’s not made to go certain ways.
National Athletic Trainers’ Association president Tory Lindley, who’s Director of Athletic Training Services at Northwestern University, believes yoga creates a more conducive environment for muscle lengthening. It doesn’t just jump right into poses. It’s a progression, working through the whole body rather than just parts.
Static stretching doesn’t allow that.
“We’ve gone away from pre-practice stretching,” Lindley said. “There’s much better benefits from a pre-practice dynamic workout, which is what the vast majority of teams regardless of sport will do. And then post-practice, when flexibility training is beneficial, in most cases that environment is much more about let’s get off the field as quickly as we can versus let’s take time to dedicate to the stretching or flexibility piece.”
The debate isn’t if yoga should be done before or after practice, it’s when is there time to aside for yoga and yoga alone.
Gwen Lawrence Sammy Watkins Jersey , the founder of Power Yoga for Sport who worked with Giants for 18 seasons, said NFL players should do yoga twice a week with sessions lasting an hour. That’s best case scenario and more realistic for the offseason. Right now, Kaleen Lugo gets 45 minutes once or twice a week with the Chargers, depending on their preseason schedule. During the regular season, players should at least do it on their recovery day, whether the team offers it or they do it independently.
It should become a routine so players can develop and advance their personal practice.
“Just a straight sun salutation,” Giants linebacker Jordan Williams said of doing progression of yoga moves. “When you start getting that flow through — warrior, warrior lunge, runner’s lunge and then bring that through with downward dog and upward dog — I love that.”
— Chandler Jones had an All-Pro season as an outside linebacker in 2017, leading the NFL in tackles with an Arizona Cardinals franchise-record 17.
Now he’s a defensive end, a position that could mean even more trouble for opposing quarterbacks. His only duties: set the edge to stop the run or get to the quarterback, something Jones does with a vengeance.
There’s a viral video of Jones wreaking severe damage on a blocking sled earlier in camp.
“Just too powerful” he explained.
But there’s more than power to the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Jones’ game.
“The guy has great length, good speed off the ball,” Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said. “He has that sliver technique to be able to get around the edge of the tackles, and he’s physical. He can turn that speed into power and create some momentum getting back to the quarterback. He has it all Jaleel Johnson Jersey , and hopefully we can continue to build on what he had last year.”
Jones came to the Cardinals from New England in March of 2016 in a trade that sent a second-round draft pick and guard Jonathan Cooper to the Patriots. Because the Cardinals played a 3-4 defense under coach Bruce Arians, Jones had to learn to drop back in pass coverage as well as rush the passer and try to stop the run.
He handled the transition well.
Jones had 11 sacks and four forced fumbles in 2016 and, in March of last year, signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract that offseason, with $53 million guaranteed.
In the 2017 season, Jones lived up to those big numbers. Not only did he lead the league in sacks but also in tackles for loss with 28, well ahead of the second-best performance, 21 by Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney.
“I feel like if you want to be labeled an elite defensive end, you can’t be just a pass rusher,” Jones said. “You have to be good on all cylinders and definitely setting the edge and defeating the run is one of them. That’s one thing I tried to take pride in last season and hopefully I can carry that forward to this season.”
Now 28 and entering his seventh NFL season, Jones wants more.
His goal, he said, is to do “better than I did last year.”
“There’s never a perfect season,” Jones said. “I can sit here and tell you a handful of plays that I left out there last season and hopefully I can capitalize this year.”
With Arians’ retirement and the arrival of Wilks, Jones is moving back to the 4-3 defense that he played with the Patriots. It means going back to a three-point stance instead of standing up as an outside linebacker.
“It’s not that hard William Gholston Jersey ,” he said. “You just have different terminology. You attack offenses different, but it’s not that big of a difference honestly.”
“He hasn’t had a problem with that at all,” he said. “You go look back at some of the things he’s done in the past. He’s put his hand on the ground before.”
Jones likes the new defense.
“I feel like guys are flying around a lot more,” he said. “There’s less thinking. There’s one-gap assignments and everyone is flying to the ball.”
Jones will get some edge-rushing help from the return of Markus Golden, who had a team-high 12 1/2 sacks in 2016 but played in just four games a year ago before a season-ending knee injury. Golden is on the physically unable to perform list but could be back before the season begins.
“Markus is a vocal leader,” Jones said. “He’s a guy that you can feel his presence out there but not by just his game play. I’m excited to have him back he’s a ‘hoorah’ guy and a hell of a player on top of that.”
Meanwhile, Jones and left tackle D.J. Humphries have had some spirited battles already in training camp as Wilks encouraged physical play. Humphries is lucky to have the practice, Jones said.
“I told D.J. yesterday, ‘You know what? You’ll never go against someone in a game that’s like me’ and I say that proudly because there’s not a lot of guys that do the moves that I do. I told D.J., ‘If you can stop me on a consistent basis, you’ll be fine.'”
Notes: Wilks said LB an MRI on LB Deone Bucannon’s knee showed no structural damage and the player’s availability in training camp would be evaluated “day to day.” Bucannon banged his knee against WR Brice Butler’s helmet on Thursday. … Several thousand people attended the team’s “Red and White Practice” on Saturday.
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