Everyone loves good yoga to calm them down and balance their inner self out, but what a lot of people fail to realize is that being an athlete and doing yoga go hand in hand. Making sure that your inner peace is at one is just as important as all the physical tools and gifts that you have worked extremely hard for.
Yoga is typically an ancient practice that originated back in the day over 5,000 years ago. People in today s day and age choose to continue to do it because it taps into peoples spiritual attitude and it has become apart of everyone s fitness routine. A lot of trainers have recommended yoga to professional athletes.
I want to make sure that every athlete out there has that flexibility and mobility that they need to be successful with their particular sport. Each sport has different parts of yoga that best fits their needs but at the end of it all, everything comes back full circle.
We will focus on the different yoga workouts and which ones best fit your needs and sports. The different yoga workout for athletes will change your life and allow you to be that vigour athlete that you want to be.
The Importance of Strength from Yoga
There is no amount of weightlifting or no amount of free weights that will give you the strength that being able to hold up your own body weight will give you. You are able to tap into the core of your body and build strength with your muscles and with your bones. A lot of people are so quick to want to be cut up and shred up so they do these intense workouts that get them the quick results.
Everyone forgets about building up the inner strength that holds the body together within. If you can hold up your own weight then adding those extra muscles on top of muscles won’t be hard at all.
If you can build out the core muscles which are the abs then everything else will trickle out like branches and leaves from a tree. There are a lot of different yoga poses that start to build strength immediately.
Boat Pose – It is an ab and deep Hip flexor strengthener. You sit on the floor to start and raise your legs as high as you can and try to bring your arms to your legs without touching and that begins this pose. Strengthening the hip flexors are important for quick twitch movement and not having stiff hips.
Warrior II pose– It is meant to increase core stamina. Spread your legs a great distance apart and go into a lunge position and spread your arms wide like a bird and hold that position. You will feel your body starting to fatigue but that is what you want. Then without even realizing it your stamina is being built within and you aren’t even running or sprinting.
Half Moon Pose– This pose will begin to increase ankle and leg strength along with stability. Being able to do this pose is extremely crucial to the importance of being an athlete. Spread your arms like an eagle and go down and try to touch the floor. Rotate your hips to the front so can begin to work that balance and stabilize the ankle and leg.
Chair Pose- This pose strengthens the arms and legs but more importantly it stimulates the diaphragm and the heart. Extend arms upward while inhaling and then bend down into the chair position while exhaling. Palms should be facing in and you want to hold this position for 30 seconds
Cobra Pose – This position opens and strengthens the heart also allowing the body the proper flexibility it needs to reach it peak. You want to lay down on your stomach and slowly rise the front of your body into a cobra position. Slowly roll the shoulders back as far as they can go. This is a very underrated position.
As an athlete we must incorporate these strengthening yoga poses to our workout routine because this is literally building the entire foundation of the stability of who an athlete is. once your core strength is intact and you have all the flexibility and mobility you need.
Flexibility is Key
When you lack Flexibility it honestly hurts to do anything or get into positions that you haven’t done in years. Also, the lack of flexibility can get you injured because your body cant get into positions that it should for whatever sport you play. As a former athlete I wish I was able to tap into more of my flexibility because I believe I would have saved myself from a lot injuries.
I once tweaked my back in a basketball game trying to do a reverse lay-up. The lay-up required me to go and under the basket and torque my body in a way I just wasn’t used to and I tweaked my back and was out for 2 weeks. My flexibility really lacked and I never took it serious enough.
These are some of the best yoga poses athletes should incorporate for great flexibility
Standing forward fold– Starting this yoga pose will allow you to see where you are with your current flexibility. The support of the abdominal muscles below the navel allow for greater flexibility in the lumbar spine
Cat- Cow pose– This pose is great for gaining extra flexibility in the spine
Bow Pose– This pose is great for back flexibility. Bow pose increases the flexibility of the back as a whole…helps to open the lungs, vertebrae and hip flexors, which are often very tight in athletes. This gives athletes greater spinal flexibility and rotation with less strain
Bridge Pose– This pose is great for the back and hip flexor
Butterfly Pose– This pose is great for the flexibility for the groin and hips and allows the full body to get a deep full stretch.
Pro Athletes who use Yoga
LeBron James, SF, Los Angeles Lakers
At 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, LeBron James has reportedly been practicing yoga for years while playing with the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers. Lebron James explains that yoga not only helps him with his balance, but that it has helped ease some lower back issues.
“IT IS SOMETHING THAT REALLY CAN HELP YOUR BALANCE. I HAD SOME LOWER BACK PROBLEMS A FEW YEARS AGO AND ONCE I STARTED TO DO THE YOGA, IT HAS HELPED THEM GO AWAY FOR NOW. OF COURSE WE CAN STRETCH BUT STRETCHING ONLY GOES SO FAR.” Lebron James
Kevin Love, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love practices yoga to open up his hips and build on balancing and core strength.
“YOGA HAS GIVEN ME A NEWFOUND BALANCE, STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE. AND MY BODY HAS LEANED OUT BECAUSE OF IT.” Kevin Love
Los Angeles Clippers NBA Team
Part of what keeps the Los Angeles Clippers’ players in excellent athletic shape is having a “yoga coach.” That coach is Kent Katich, who also works with other NBA players.
The Complete Package
Understanding your body and what it takes to be a complete athlete and be a true Vigour Athlete will definitely gain the advantage that you need when trying to be at your best. Strengthening your bodys core from the inside first before you start adding the outside muscle is the key to true strength, flexibility and mobility that you need.
If you incorporate yoga into your regular routine 3-4 times a week, you will start to see an amazingly different body begin to sculpt before your eyes. The key is consistency which a lot of people lack and that’s when results don’t come in but make this apart of your life and the sky is truly the limit. Being a Vigour athlete is a lifestyle and yoga is a key factor in achieving that goal.