Jan 18, 2021
The Benefits of Athletes Practicing Yoga

If you are looking for a creative way to get strength and resistance training while improving your range of motion and balance, yoga may be a good addition to your workouts. It may be the perfect cross-training method for athletes of all sports.

Yoga can help athletes develop better breathing techniques while it improves balance, flexibility, core strength, and even endurance.

Photo: Oleg Klementiev / Creative Commons

Many professional athletes — NBA players like LeBron James and Kevin Love, NFL players like Aaron Rodgers, Torrey Smith, and the entire Seattle Seahawks team — incorporate it into their training regimens.

A recent article in Healthline.com outlined the benefits athletes can find from adding this practice into their training regimen. Below is an excerpt from that article.

A small 2016 study looked at yoga’s effect on performance in 26 male college athletes. The 14 athletes who did yoga twice a week saw significant improvements in their balance and flexibility compared with the 12 who did not do yoga. This suggests that yoga can enhance your performance in sports that require balance and flexibility.

Practicing yoga can help you develop mindfulness through awareness of your body, your breath, and the present moment. This can allow for greater concentration during athletic activity.

2017 review of studies found that practicing mindfulness consistently improved mindfulness scores. This had a positive effect on shooting and dart throwing, suggesting that the practice is useful for improving skill in precision sports.

Researchers in a small 2018 study examined the effects of hot yoga as an alternative heat stress technique for 10 elite female field hockey players.

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The researchers found that hot yoga can enhance cardiovascular performance and plasma volume percentage, which has a positive effect on how your body regulates temperature during exercise.

It’s best to do yoga for a short time each day rather than only one or two long sessions each week. If you play strenuous sports, it’s best to balance this activity with slow-paced, gentle types of yoga.

Your routine should include plenty of poses that allow you to relax and lengthen your muscles and tissues. This helps to improve flexibility, mobility, and range of motion.

To read the full story by Healthline.com, click here

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