First Team

Football yoga: stability, focus and ease

Stephanie Harrer is a yoga instructor who is carrying out pioneering work with the Wolves.

Yoga as an additional training module is not yet commonplace at Bundesliga football clubs. At VfL Wolfsburg, it has only been running since the summer of this year – spearheaded by instructor Steffi Harrer.

Progressive and intensive

In Harrer’s classes, it is not about winning or losing but rather about mindfulness. Working with managing director Jörg Schmadtke, sporting director Marcel Schäfer and head coach Oliver Glasner, she devises the content and the structure as an individual addition to the players’ day-to-day routine, to help them be balanced and well-trained. “Football yoga is a sensible aid and provides a healthy balance to the other training sessions,” she said. The exercises in football yoga mobilise, strengthen, and regenerate, but they also promote concentration and boost mental and physical stamina. In short, they improve player performance.

The Green-and-Whites appreciate Harrer’s knowledge, experience and professionalism, with several players regularly making use of the voluntary offering after noticing how much football yoga benefits them. Daniel Ginczek, who can often be found on the mats, is one such player. “The class helps me to acquire flexibility in my body,” enthused the VfL striker.

Journey over destination

In the fitness room of the VfL-Center, Harrer puts the belt on Ginczek’s legs. This stretches the backs of the legs and increases the range of movement of the hips. She alternates between strength and balance exercises in her classes. All of these are concepts which also considerably reduce the risk of injury, which is extremely important.

As well as teaching at VfL, Steffi also works as a professional football yoga instructor for the Germany U21 national team. ‘INSIDE YOGA’ is the name of the yoga style that she learned and studied from scratch. She was trained – and continues to be trained – by her master and mentor, Young Ho Kim. "For the footballers, I modify the exercise concepts of my style so that they’re optimised for their needs," she explained. It is an ongoing process that she is constantly working on. “The objective in working with the guys is completely different from working with other yoga students,” she added. “Here, it’s about supporting the improvement of their performance in all areas.”



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