It can help you take your performance (and mood!) to the next level… and no, it’s not carb-loading.
There’s no denying it: yoga has become one of the most popular ways to train internationally. But it’s not just for flexibility and mindfulness (which it will certainly help with). Now, yoga has become a non-negotiable part of the recovery workout plans many runners swear by. This is why.
It improves athletic performance
A number of years ago I decided to set myself a challenge of running 35 marathons and ultras in 5 years. In order to achieve this goal I had to run for kilometres almost every day, which inevitably led to sore joints and tight muscles. A friend suggested that I started doing yoga to balance out the running and run specific strength training that I was going. I gave it a go. My recovery improved and so did my performance.
Yoga helps you build your strength as you tend to hold poses for quite a while (depending on the class) and you are constantly flowing into the next movement.
It’s also great for balance, flexibility, mobility and mental endurance. All of which are needed if you were to be participating in any endurance event or having to lift a very heavy weight.
It improved your range of movement and mobility
There’s no denying that many people, particularly those who are desk bound, suffer from injuries due to stiffness and poor range of motion. This is because, for a range of reasons, our muscles and connective tissue become tight and restrictive, which can result in limb and joint pain.
While strength training is important for everyone, if you don’t balance it out, you do risk struggling with the above.
By practicing yoga on a regular basis, you can improve your flexibility and reduce the risk to a great extent.
According to a study by the American Council on Exercise, it was found that regular practice of Hatha yoga significantly improved the subjects flexibility, muscular strength, endurance and balance. After 8 weeks, the group improved their flexibility by 13% to 35%, in case you needed more convincing.
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Ben Lucas is the owner of Sydney’s premier luxe fitness and yoga studio Flow Athletic.
June 1, 201711:37am