There’s no denying that yoga can be an excellent workout. Besides burning calories, even gentler forms of yoga help you to tone and strengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility.
But did you know that yoga can also be an excellent addition to other workout and training regimes? Yoga provides a number of benefits for athletes that can help you to excel at your chosen sport, suffer fewer injuries, and more.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or a casual runner, keep reading to learn more about yoga for athletes and how your favorite Utah yoga studios can help you reap the many benefits.
Why is Yoga Good for Athletes?
The benefits of yoga for athletes encompass both physical and mental health perks. Whether you hit the mat for a long, slow stretch after a tough workout or encompass a more challenging yoga flow on your usual day off from training, these are just a few benefits you’ll be enjoying.
Increasing Your Range of Motion
When you do the same kind of workout day after day, you strengthen certain muscles. For a runner, this means strengthening the muscles that power your body to move forward. For a weightlifter, these muscles are concentrated in your upper body.
However, while you’re strengthening certain muscles with repetitive motions, you may actually be causing other muscles to weaken and shorten. And the muscles that you are using regularly, while stronger, are also getting tighter. This can limit your range of motion. Over time, this can actually increase your risk of injury and even affect your overall technique, which can impact your athletic abilities.
But as you move from one yoga pose to the next, you’ll be engaging many of those often-overlooked muscles. As you strengthen those muscles and stretch, you’ll actually be increasing your range of motion. Make this a regular part of your workout routine, and you’ll likely notice an improvement in your athletic skills.
Relieving Muscle Soreness
In addition to working those often-overlooked muscles, making it a point to visit your favorite Utah yoga studios on a regular basis can actually help to relieve muscle soreness.
As a seasoned athlete, you likely already know the benefits of stretching before and after a workout. But too often, these stretch sessions are rushed or even skipped as you rush to start your workout. If you do set aside time for stretching, you may focus on the muscles that you’re about to use, while neglecting support muscles that also need to be stretched.
Scheduling regular yoga classes forces you to set aside time to stretch each muscle with intention. In addition to feeling less sore, you’ll also decrease your risk of common injuries associated with repetitive movements.
Strengthen Your Core
As an athlete, many of your workouts likely focus on either your upper or lower body. While you might integrate strength or cross-training workouts into your routine, it’s likely that your core isn’t receiving the same overall strengthening that the rest of your muscles are.
A strong core improves your athletic performance, increases your balance, corrects your posture, and so much more. Before you hit the mat for endless crunches — which may actually be hurting your core — consider adding yoga to your routine.
Many yoga poses work to strengthen your core and improve your posture and balance, even if it may not feel that way during the class. In addition to moving from one position to the next and working those core muscles, your instructor will also be reminding you to focus on your body, release tension, and improve your posture, all of which help to contribute to a strong core.
Reap the Other Benefits of Regular Yoga Practice
While the above are a few of the specific benefits of yoga for athletes, you’ll also be enjoying some of the many other perks of regular yoga practice.
Relief from stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression, better sleep, and improved concentration are just a few of the other benefits of yoga that athletes — and anyone, for that matter — can enjoy.
Despite the fact that getting your heart pumping with regular workouts can help to reduce stress, many athletes still suffer from mental health struggles. Among college athletes, around a third experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions. Around 35 percent of professional athletes report suffering a mental health crisis.
Making yoga a regular part of your training regime can help to support a healthy mind and body.
Warm-up or Cool-Down
Yoga is a great addition to more than just your off-days from training. If you struggle to properly warm-up or cool down before or after a workout, consider scheduling a yoga class to help with this.
A slower-paced yoga class can help you to wake up and prepare your muscles for a tough workout, or stretch and relieve soreness post-training.
Making Yoga a Part of Your Training
Whether you’re looking to improve your flexibility and reduce injuries or want to enhance your skills with better balance and a stronger core, yoga can be a great addition to your regular training and workouts.
Ready to experience the benefits of yoga for athletes for yourself? One of your favorite Utah yoga studios is here to help.
At Sun Rock Yoga, we offer a variety of different yoga styles and classes perfect for stretching out sore muscles or building strength. Make time for a Restore class on your next off-day from training to reset your mind and body. Or, swap one of your regular days of strength training for a Power Yoga class, where you’ll challenge your body and use muscles that may be overlooked in your regular workouts.
New students can take advantage of our 30 for $30 pass. As a new Sun Rock Yogi, you can try out different styles of classes to see which ones you like and experience the difference that adding yoga to your regular workout routine can make. Sign up today to get started!