4.7.17

Become a Better Athlete With Yoga

By: Travelle Gaines

Yoga, a prominent exercise in the United States since the early 20th century has continued to pick up popularity as a workout for athletes. Many athletes and athletic programs have ditched static stretching in favor of yoga or dynamic stretching exercises. The activity has blossomed all throughout the country and now is a popular weekly activity for many.

This exercise when done correctly promotes relaxation, while reducing stress, and helping the everyday athlete recover from tough workouts.

Yoga is something that I encourage all of the athletes that I work with to do for a number of reasons.

This activity is a great way to break up your workouts. If you are in the gym constantly everyday it gets boring and tiring, so to be able to break up the week with yoga is not only great from the recovery standpoint, but also from a flexibility standpoint, a blood flow standpoint, and to just be more limber and agile. It’s really great for every athlete.

  1. Flexibility: Yoga not only stretches your muscles and loosens them up, but it also works the joints to loosen them up as well. Keeping your joints and muscles warm and loose allows for maximum flexibility. In sports, this maximum flexibility allows for better movement, range of motion, strength, and even power.
  1. Blood Flow: In order for your body to function as best as possible, good blood flow and circulation is needed. The dynamic stretching and breathing techniques used in your yoga sessions facilitate good blood flow to the body parts you are working.
  1. Agility/Balance: Many dynamic stretches in yoga help work on your balance, which in the long run can help your speed and agility. These poses and stretches during your routines will work on balance directly, and in the long run make you much more limber.

I highly recommend every athlete do yoga as much as they can at least once a week — and if they can, do hot yoga which is yoga done in humid conditions to increase flexibility. The humidity included in hot yoga makes you sweat more, but also loosens up your muscles to increase your flexibility in all of the poses, or stretches during the workout.  This relaxing exercise can do wonders for your health and wellness and take you to a whole new level as an athlete.

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