Yoga is massively popular among both men and women, but there are still some guys out there who think of it as a female thing and have therefore been reluctant to try it out.
Yoga has a ton of benefits, especially for the male body. Men who haven’t yet taken the plunge and joined a yoga studio may want to consider these benefits and give this exercise a shot.
Yoga Benefits For Men: Why Guys Should Give Yoga a Shot
Healing and Preventing Injuries
A big reason why many guys are starting to practice yoga has to do with injuries. Improving your range of motion of critical in all sports. Yoga is by far the best workout you can do for increasing your range of motion. Nothing can beat holding stretches for a long period of time.
The greater your range of motion in your muscles, the less tight and more mobile they are. Increasing your range of motion decreases your chance of injury because your muscles will be able to stretch farther and have less chance of tearing.
Getting Stronger and Leaner Muscles
What guy out there wouldn’t want stronger and leaner muscles? Usually, most dudes resort to lifting weights as their only form of strength training. While that is an effective way for sure, weight lifting puts a tremendous amount of stress on your bones and joints. They also don’t work minor muscles as effectively.
Incorporating yoga into strength workouts can work the sometimes-ignored muscles. Poses like downward dog or plank make you hold a strong and sturdy body position, which gives you great strength and stamina in your upper body and core.
Increasing the range of motion also allows you to access more muscle fibers when working out, which helps build lean and strong muscle.
Who doesn’t want to reduce their stress level? Stress relief is one of the greatest benefits of yoga. and it does so in a couple of ways.
The first is through breathing techniques. Practicing yoga can teach you how to breathe more efficiently and use your entire lungs. Deep breathing can do wonders for stress relief, and specific techniques that are effective include alternate nostril, left nostril, and victorious breathing.
Relaxing the body is another way yoga greatly reduces stress. Releasing tension in muscles that carry a lot of stress, like the shoulder and back muscles, can shed that excess stress.
Studies reveal that yoga reduces insomnia. How does this happen? Yoga can make you more comfortable. If you have areas of stiffness in your body, especially your back, you may know how it can be extremely hard to fall asleep.
Tossing and turning for hours trying to find the perfect sleeping position isn’t fun. Doing yoga before crawling into bed can relax muscles and joints and prepare you for sleep. Even a short 10-minute yoga and meditation routine before going to bed can improve the quality of sleep.
Have you ever had one of those nights where a million things are on your mind? It can be hard to fall asleep if there are things that are worrying you. Doing yoga with meditation can greatly reduce this “mental chatter.” Once you address it, you’ll feel much better and it should make going to sleep much easier.
Yoga Benefits for Men Summary
Guys who are active and working out all the time should consider yoga because it can help prevent and heal injuries, and increase strength and stamina. It’s an essential for those athletes who want to take their training to the next level. For a vigorous workout, check out a power yoga video.
But even those who don’t work out can find great benefits in yoga. Relieving stress and improving the quality of sleep can have a positive impact on everyone’s life.
If you get bored with the most typical yoga poses, consider some of these less common and unique postures.
What Athletes Can Gain From Yoga
As everyone knows, there’s more to yoga than leisurely stretching. Vigorous yoga practice strengthens the mind body, and spirit. So it’s not surprising that many top professional athletes say they have benefited from regular yoga practice.
NBA stars LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love are among the many pro athletes who have spoken about the benefits of yoga. LeBron asserts that yoga has helped improve his stamina and cure lower-back issues.
Here’s a look at some of the benefits professional and amateur athletes can gain from steady yoga practice.
Strength and Power
Yoga poses make the muscles leaner and stronger. Runners, cyclists, and swimmers can improve their balance and overall strength with yoga practice. Yoga practitioners are able to use more muscle more effectively, which enhances their power output.
Yoga helps improve coordination as well as balance. This can assist athletes in maintaining better control over their body movements. Thus, you will be able to jump, run, and swing a bat with more focus and intensity.
Consistent yoga practice improves the flexibility of muscles and joints. This improves an athlete’s motion radius, which means swimmers can get farther with each stroke. Flexible muscles are also more elastic and supple, and less susceptible to overuse injuries.
Mental toughness is as important as physical toughness in the demanding atmosphere of competitive sport. Mindful yoga and meditation practice can improve your concentration and focus. Imagine being able to ignore distractions and keep your mind focused solely on the basket or goal.
New Zealand’s national rugby team uses yoga to relax and recover, and for positive visualizations to perform better in the games ahead. Garnett claims that yoga helps focus his energy intensely, and keeps his mind on the strategies he has to execute.
Recovery from Strenuous Workouts
Use yoga on off-days to recover from the demanding grind of your training schedule. Yoga stretches, relaxes, and repairs tight muscles, and improves blood supply to injured tissues.
You can also use yoga to prevent injuries caused by repetitive exercising of specific muscle groups. Thus, yoga practice can serve to soothe your body and make it fit for rigorous training and practice. Injured athletes can try yoga to rehabilitate their body during the downtime.
Yoga Benefits for Athletes Summary
The demanding Power, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga styles are ideal for athletes. Research studies reveal that yoga practice can help practitioners as it raises oxygen intake and lowers the heart rate. So follow the example of the top athletes mentioned in this article, buy yourself a yoga mat, and incorporate yoga into your fitness regimen to improve your athletic performance.
You may also want to try increasing your flexibility by trying out aerial yoga equipment such as hammocks and swings to perform inversion postures.
Also, athletes who find themselves bored by traditional yoga can consider working out with a couple of friends. You’ll get a powerful workout by using your arms to lift two partners in the air! Read about yoga poses for three people.
Portions of the article were contributed by Dustin Holta, a freelance writer based out of Las Cruces, New Mexico.