Benefits of Yoga & Pilates for Athletes
Do you have stiffness, pain or injury? Lack of mobility, not being able to stabilise your midline, and poor technique for functional movements are leading factors that cause injury and are what is holding you back from achieving your full fitness potential.
Training where exercises tend to focus on the same muscles often results in muscular imbalance in which strong muscles get stronger and weak muscles get weaker. If we train within limited ranges, our movement patterns become deficient which reduces our ability to perform at our peak and will inevitably result in pain and injury. This is why we need mobility as a foundation of our training, to create an evenly conditioned and well-performing body.
“Restoration is one of the 4 pillars of health at Function Well and is a vital part of any training program.“
Both yoga and pilates can help to correct muscle imbalance and improve your ability to move muscles and joints though their full range of motion. Yoga and pilates strengthen postural muscles that work to stabilise the spine and strengthen the core, focusing on improving flexibility, mobility and strength.
Yoga and Pilates will improve your weight lifting, your running, your boxing, because it trains the supporting muscles, increases your flexibility, range of motion and balance. As a result it allows you to push harder in your training and greatly reduces the chance of injury.
Another benefit of yoga and pilates is stress relief. Training puts the body under stress, the body will adapt to the stress of training and exercise with increased strength and fitness; however, prolonged stress without adequate rest will wear the body down. Consistently training at high intensity without proper recovery, can lead to elevated levels of cortisol in the bloodstream causing negative symptoms such as fatigue, decrease in power, changes in mood and motivation and when combined with increased life stresses increase feelings of anxiety.
“prolonged stress without adequate rest will wear the body down.”
In addition to physical movement, both yoga and pilates methods place an emphasis on breathing, which can help to relax the body and reduce stress. Yoga in particular is focused on body-mind connection and is especially beneficial if you suffer anxiety and stress. Your yoga routine can include breathing, meditation, and relaxation techniques. Yoga teaches you to breathe deeply, which has a positive effect on parasympathetic nerve activity to help reduce stress in your body and mind. On top of that breathing techniques can also enhance your sleep quality and encourage mindfulness, improving sleep can be so important to performance, mental and physical health.
Restoration is one of the 4 pillars of health at Function Well and is a vital part of any training program. If you are looking to reduce pain, improve range of movement, aid performance and manage stress look at planning a yoga or pilates class into your recovery days. If you are feeling stiff and sore adding these practices can be the key to resolving pain, training longevity and the edge to athletic performance.