No matter how much you workout, the truth is, by putting your body through a repetitive routine will eventually lead to muscular imbalance and injury. Incorporating Yoga into your fitness routine may be exactly what your body needs to improve.
Yoga is for everyone, athletes included. As an athlete there are so many factors you body depends on to compete at your peak performance. You can do Yoga at home using a dvd, such as Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown or you go to a class at a local fitness center. There is no specific place you have to be to do Yoga.
So how can Yoga help your Athletic Performance?
Strength - Consistently holding your own body weight will give you better strength than any weight-lifting with free weights.
Flexibility - Practicing Yoga will increase flexibility and range of motion. This is especially beneficial for athletes of golf and tennis that require a good amount of torque on the body. Flexibility in general can help to prevent injury.
Balance - In yoga the balancing poses will help with balance in all that you do, not only in sports, but your day to day lifestyle. Balance is essential in preventing falls and injury. When you learn how to balance you can bend more easily and not break or fall over.
Endurance - Building endurance is essential for any sport. It becomes especially beneficial for sports where you will remain active for long periods of time. Running, soccer, football etc... come to mind where you need to resist fatigue. Yoga will help you pace yourself, in turn allowing you to maintain a certain level and over exert yourself at any point.
Core - Just about everything you do in Yoga works on core strengthening. A strong core equals a healthy back and healthy body. The strength of the core is essential in all aspects of yoga as well as sports. A strong core will help with you balance and reduce chances of abdominal and back injuries. Just about every sport there is you have to use your core. Whether it is throwing a baseball, kicking a soccer ball, or making a golf swing the core is a huge part of each of those actions.
Stability - Throughout a normal workout it is difficult to isolate all the little muscles, known as stabilizing muscles, in the body. Most people and even some trainers do not know how to effectively trigger these little muscles. Yoga helps do just that. Better stability means better overall performance of any physical activity you do.
Recovery - Yoga, especially for professional athletes helps the body after injury. By elongating the muscles in the body, Yoga helps counteract the long contracting sports puts on the muscles. Plus you are tuning into your body and giving it the care it wants and needs.
One of the most important things about yoga, it changes the way you think and approach everything in life. When you learn to move with more ease and stop forcing things, you will prevent injuries and your body will open with your mind, increasing your flexibility all around.
These are some poses that are great and more beneficial to athletes. They work on arm strength, back, shoulders, hips, hamstrings, and legs. They are the Wheel, Down Dog, Eagle and Devotional Warrior.
Due to the fact they are various versions of these positions we recommend you speak with a local Yoga professional to get them correct for the specific sport you play or lifestyle you have. We also recommend some good post workout recovery supplements, a good diet and essential vitamins and nutrients.