Yoga Workouts for Soccer
Yoga Workouts for Baseball
Yoga Workouts for Runners
It's no secret that yoga is great for the body and mind, but did you know that yoga can also be beneficial for athletes? Numerous studies have found that yoga can improve flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, coordination, and respiratory function. Yoga can also help to reduce stress levels, anxiety, and fatigue.
So if you're an athlete looking to improve your performance, yoga may be a good option for you. Give it a try - you may be surprised at just how helpful yoga can be!
5 Science-backed Benefits of Yoga for Athletes
- Yoga has been shown to help reduce performance anxiety in athletes, based on a 2021 study published in the Journal of Science in Sport and Exercise
- Yoga may enhance athletic performance through increased flexibility and balance, based on a 2016 study published in the International Journal of Yoga
- Yoga can lead to improvements in muscular strength, based on 2015 study published in the Hindawi Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Yoga may lead to improvements in aerobic (endurance) fitness, based on a 2015 study published in the Hindawi Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Yoga may increase aerobic capacity, based on a 2015 study by the International Journal of Yoga
How to incorporate yoga into your workout regimen
Yoga can be a great complement to any workout regimen. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
- Find a yoga class that fits your schedule and level of experience. Most cities have at least a couple different studies offering a variety of classes. College athletes may have access to on-campus classes through their recreation and fitness center.
- Start slowly and focus on your breath. Yoga is not about how flexible you are or how many yoga poses you can do. It's more important to focus on your breath and be present in the moment. As an athlete you focus heavily on your external environment. Yoga is a practice that will allow your mind and body to relax while promoting healthy blood flow to recovering muscles.
- Listen to your body. If a yoga pose feels uncomfortable, don't force it. There are many different yoga poses and modifications that can be made to make them more comfortable for you.
- Don't compare yourself to others. A recovery day is just that - a recovery day. Do not push the workout farther than it needs to go. Set your intention at the beginning of class and allow your mind to relax during the practice.
Why yoga for recovery?
Yoga engages all the muscles
This is important for recovery because it can help to reduce soreness and improve range of motion. Yoga also helps to improve circulation, which is important for providing nutrients, hormones, and oxygen to tissues, muscles and organs throughout your body.
Yoga draws attention to any imbalances or tight areas
If you have any imbalances or tight areas, yoga will help to bring them to your attention. This is important so that you can address them and prevent future injury. Often, as athletes we have very repetitive motions which can lead to strength and agility in those areas, but also tightness in others.
The playing field, court, or wherever you compete is unpredictable. At a moment's notice you may be required to twist or torque your body into a different direction. If the muscle required for that movement is weak or tight, it can quickly lead to injury.
Yoga is a practice that helps expose weak areas before they become an issue.
Sport Specific Yoga
Wanting to get sport specific? Check out the guides linked at the top of this article.
Otherwise, as a general yoga session for a recovery day, consider the 20 to 30 minute routine below. Look at this routine as a circuit workout. Transition from each pose as smooth as possible and hold for approximately 3-5 deep, consistent breaths. Repeat the routine 2-3 times .
- Downward Dog Pose
- Runner's Lunge Pose
- Crescent Lunge Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Rabbit Pose