Texas high school football players use yoga to build strength

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Texas H.S. football players use yoga to build strength. Registered Nurse Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on July 5, 2017. (WPVI)

Football players at a Texas high school are trying yoga to help build strength for the upcoming season.

Several times a week, yoga instructor Hope Pedraza leads the O'Connor High Panthers in planks, sun salutations, and other moves.

The team's head coach got the idea from a coaching magazine - another team used the exercises to build flexibility.

"It's one thing we probably don't work enough on, it's flexibility with our athletes," Head Football Coach David Malesky said.

Yoga Instructor Hope Pedraza said, "Helps with agility, it helps prevent injuries, it can help with speed, build strength."

For players, the stretching and balance poses are so different from their conventional workouts, they didn't see at first how it could help.

But some who've had trouble with injuries came around.

One player said, "Flexibility, something that we all need, and me personally, my hamstring, so I'm glad we're doing it."

And now, the whole team is on board.

"The kids get out, and they go, oh wow I feel a little better. It's been nothing but positive," added Malesky.

"You know, once the season starts, I know that they'll really be able to tell a difference," Pedraza said.

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