After doing one 30 minute session of yoga I knew I had to do my research and see if Yoga could be a good complement to a soccer players usual work out. The half hour yoga session made the normal strength training that I do feel like a walk in the park. I have found that not only is it a great compliment but many professionals swear by it, Ryan Giggs is probably one of the biggest professionals who practices yoga. Listen to what he has to say below.
It tests parts of your body that you just don’t use in football. The first time I did it, about five years ago, I was completely knackered. I went home from the training ground and slept for three hours in the afternoon. I actually dreaded yoga for the first year because it made muscles I didn’t know I had ache, although I know some of the lads think it’s really a bit soft.
Another player to credit Yoga for his extended career is Brad Friedel, goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspurs. He is 41 years old and still playing strong. Former Spur’s manager Harry Redknapp even brought in a yoga instructor to help give Tottenham an extra edge after seeing the wonders yoga has worked for Brad Friedel.
What is Yoga? Yoga is an ancient practice that originates from India. It was first found in Hinduism and Buddhism, used by them to practice self discipline, achieve spiritual acuity, strengthen the body and sharpen the mind. In modern times it has become increasingly westernized, more focus has been put into the physical and mental benefits of yoga. It can be high intensity or low intensity and the sessions can be relaxing or result in a real work out as I have experienced.
Yoga is thought of by most people as just stretching but it is much more than that. It creates balance in the body by increasing strength, flexibility and muscular endurance through a series of poses.
What Yoga Can do For Soccer?
1. Help reduce injury
2. Increase flexibility
3. Bolster endurance
4. Strengthen the core
5. Improve joint strength through low impact exercise.
These are just some of the benefits of yoga for soccer players. Over all yoga has positive aspects for all areas of life and not just athletics. Check out the USMNT during their yoga session.
I for one am planning to implement yoga into my work outs. I was really surprised at how much of a work out I got out of it. It improves over all health and can boost performance, so why not give it a shot. Yoga is easy enough to get into. There are classes and groups all across the states, not to mention the hundreds of video yoga sessions. All you need is a mat and you are set to go. If you find that one of the routines doesn’t quite work for you there are thousands of them out there.