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Yoga for Functional Fitness Athletes

yoga for functional fitness athletesWhen working on a functional fitness regimen, most people incorporate real-life activities into their workout. For example, a baseball player throwing a weighted ball is a form of functional fitness exercise. The techniques of functional fitness can be applied to virtually anyone who wishes to improve their overall health. Functional fitness can include lifting and moving weighted objects so you can carry a load of laundry more easily, or it may involve climbing steps so you can hike the mountain of your choice.

A lesser known routine is adding yoga for functional fitness athletes. Baseball players, swimmers, and other athletes understand the importance of complete health and fitness to succeed in their sport. Incorporating yoga for functional fitness athletes can bring balance, breathing, strength and overall health into focus.

Some examples of yoga movements for functional fitness athletes include:

  • The boat – begin by lying on your back with arms and legs straight. Lift your legs, keeping them straight, while moving your straight arms towards the legs. This creates the shape of a boat with your body. Inhale before starting to lift and exhale when performing the move.
  • Triangle pose – stand with legs wide apart and straight. Turn both feet so they point towards the right side, making a parallel line. Spread both arms straight in both directions and then tilt to the right, allowing the right arm to touch the right foot while the left-hand rises into the air. Exhale as you bend and inhale when you rise up. Switch sides and perform the same maneuver on the left.
  • Child’s pose – sit on your knees on the floor with calves under your buttocks. Lean forward, stretching your arms outward beyond your head and shoulders. Touch your forehead to the ground while keeping your buttocks on your calves.

The benefits of yoga help in several areas for all athletes:

  1. Physical – the breathing and strength poses help muscles to be oxygenated and improve blood circulation. This reduces cramping and muscle strain.
  2. Mental – there is a calming and relaxing aspect to yoga that helps athletes to clear their minds and focus more on their performance. Through the meditative and disciplined work involved with yoga, athletes can visualize their success and help to make it a reality.
  3. Emotional – most athletes are emotionally committed to their sport. Sometimes instability can creep in and cause good intensity to turn into angry or emotional outbursts. Through yoga, athletes can learn to control their emotions and keep a steady head no matter how difficult the challenge may present.

Functional fitness athletes can definitely benefit from yoga. The body must be cared for to perform properly and to reduce injury. With the right yoga routines for your specific activities, you can help to prepare your body for more intense activities and also help you to recuperate after a hard workout or game.

The popularity of yoga has grown greatly because of the positive effects for athletes. Open your mind to new approaches and methods of enhancing your performance to stay healthy and successful.