Over recent years yoga has somewhat escaped its stereotypes and surrounding assumptions as more and more men, women, children and so on… have took it on. However there is still many questions such as the one we will focus on today.
Is yoga good for footballers?
I’ll be honest and tell you all that football is my favourite sport, I absolutely love it, and in my opinion yoga is massively underutilised by footballers of all levels and ages. It has many positive effects that can help you whether you are semi-pro, amateur, youth footballer and definitely fully professional… so what are the benefits of yoga to footballers?
Flexibility and Injury Resistance
One of the main things that yoga helps you improve on is your flexibility and that comes with many benefits. Yoga helps you improve your flexibility by encouraging you to hold yoga stretches for longer periods of time allowing the muscles to stretch further and further the more you practice making the muscle more flexible. Flexibility is very important when playing football, firstly the very obvious one is that it improves mobility and it can make physical activity more fun, it eases aches and pains and can even improve posture. The best sub-benefit however is the lower chance of injury, ultimately there are many factors that go into chance of injury but a mass-study report shows that improving flexibility in every warm up and part of training will lead to better injury prevention. It’s why previously injury riddled Ryan Giggs refers to it as his ‘fountain of youth’ and it just might be why Zlatan can play at an elite level at the almost-age of 40. If Zlatan does yoga, you should too.
‘Following yoga practice, the participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively than after performing an aerobic exercise bout’ theres no better way to sum it up really, yoga helps your focus in everything you do and you’ll continually get better over time. Football is a game which we play as part of a normal life and thus people have normal problems and being able to focus on the task at hand, maybe a penalty or a free kick or waiting for a pass, is majorly beneficial as you’ll be mentally aware and turned on at all times. The ability to alleviate the stress you may be feeling and focus on the task at hand can have amazing affects on and off the pitch.
Whilst they weren’t footballers doing work with an American football team allowed me to see first hand the benefits of yoga to professional athletes who may have never thought of doing it before
So the next time you ask yourself any of the below:
Is yoga good for my football team?
Can I add yoga into my coaching?
Will yoga reduce my injuries from sports?
Will yoga help me in high pressure situations?
The answer is always one thing – Yes, and we encourage you all to incorporate it as soon as you can and see the effects first hand on either you or your whole team. It’s worth it, trust us!