Yoga can benefit athletes across all sports

By in News

Tuesday 30th May 2017

If you’ve been doing yoga for years, you’re a member of the Broga society or you’re a yoga rookie – yoga can help benefit you and your flexibility, strength and athletic performance.

The petite, flexible female stereotype is over; now, anyone can do yoga. Nowadays we see elite athletes such as Andy Murray and the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team incorporating yoga into their rigorous training regimes to improve their athletic performance.

Regardless of age, gender, or bendiness, yoga is non-competitive and is a mindful activity that can be performed by anyone. It can loosen the tight spots that you get with working out which can hinder physical performance. With the help of Maxinutrition, retailers of protein shakes, we explain to you just how yoga can really help an athlete perform when it counts.

The benefits of yoga

Research indicates that participating in yoga can yield improvements in overall fitness, and can increase your muscular strength, endurance, and even coordination. The strong emphasis that is placed on breathing practices can result in a therapeutic effect, by reducing psychological and physical stress, something which can plague the best of us. Yoga has also been shown to decrease the stress hormone Cortisol, which can help to relieve stress and depression (Thirthalli et al. 2013). The increase in physiological gains seen with participation in yoga can allow the body to recover from intense training and can prevent against injury.

As the focus of many scientific studies, it is a functional moving activity that includes many benefits. One particular study (Cowen, 2010) explored the benefits of how yoga can influence functional fitness and perceived stress in fire fighters from a major metropolitan fire department. They reported significant improvements in functional fitness, trunk flexibility, perceived stress, and reduced muscoskeletal pain. These findings illustrate how yoga can positively influence our psychological and physical well-being.

How can yoga benefit my sport

In conjunction with hard training to help lengthen and recover muscles after an intense workout, yoga can be used to help alter muscle imbalances.

Golf

Improving trunk rotation during your swing, power can be translated through your drive by practicing yoga.

Cycling

During cycling knees are bent over and extended over a long period of time, which can shorten your hamstring muscles. Yoga can help to stretch the muscles following your ride and therefore allow you to engage these muscle groups sufficiently in subsequent training sessions.

Swimming

To establish good movement within the upper back and your shoulders, yoga can help to relax the muscles and work towards positive movements that improve your swimming technique.