Yoga was not taken seriously until recently when coaches and team managers realized it could help loosen tight hips and improve the performance of players. The fact is, hockey is one of the games that no matter how intense it gets, it will create muscle imbalances. Practicing yoga has been proven to help reduce the chances of injuries while at the same time leveling up the speed at which your body recovers, especially after engaging in a stressing practice. As a hockey player, sparing some few minutes or hours to practice yoga five to six times a week will help improve your performance in the field.
Here are some reasons why.
Concentration is an essential element in every sports and hockey is not an exception. Understanding your body as well as your mental state makes it easy for you to avoid distractions and focus on what you are doing. Yoga incorporates a variety of breathing techniques that are intended to improve mental awareness while playing.
Every skill performed in a hockey field requires that you have strong core, abs, leg, and shoulder as well as chest muscles. Strength makes it easy for you to move quickly to execute counters and tackles that you need to win a game. On the other hand, if your muscles are weak, it will be hard for you to survive a very competitive game. In addition to improving focus, yoga also incorporates a variety of strength training exercises that targets the muscles throughout your body.
Hockey takes 60 minutes of playing time broken into three periods that lasts 20 minutes each. As a hockey player, you won’t be able to play successfully against aggressive opponents if your endurance performance is low. Many of yoga workouts have been proven to level-up cardio fitness by enabling you to continue playing with limited oxygen consumption and without increasing the levels of blood lactate making it easy for you to play for 60 minutes without getting tired.
It is easy to dislocate a joint or tear a muscle by slipping and falling on ice. If you’ve been playing hockey for sometimes, you must have realized how harsh it can get. Regular stretching is the most effective way to prevent injuries that result from accidental slipping and falling. Yoga incorporates regular stretching that will help improve your flexibility when playing on the field. These stretches increase the range in your leg muscles while at the same time improving your take off as well as skating speed.
More often when playing, you will be forced to execute, crossovers and turns while at the same time trying to balance on the two pieces of 5 millimeters steel. The last thing you want is slip and fall in the middle of tough opponents. Yoga also focusses on standing postures that are intended to strengthen your center of gravity. These positions also help improve the strength in your knees, ankles as well as hips making it easy for you to maneuver easily with limited risks.
Yoga offers many benefits required by yoga athletes to perform better while playing. But since you will all so need to find time for your regular hockey exercises, it is important that you engage in the right exercises particularly intended to increase your strength, focus, endurance, and balance. Here are some few tips.
- Yoga exercises for balance – Tree pose, mountain pose, extended hand to big toe pose, dancer pose and half-moon pose.
- Yoga exercise for focus – Eagle pose, prayer pose, warrior pose, crane pose, alternative nostril breathing pose, and meditation.
- Yoga exercises for strength – Downward facing dog pose, Dolphin plank pose, Equal balancing pose, beginner side plank and more.
- Yoga exercises for flexibility – Cobra pose, standing forward bend, crescent pose, extended triangle, bridge pose, bound angle butterfly and many other stretches.
- Yoga exercises for endurance – Crescent lunge, camel pose, corpse pose, four limbed staff pose and more.
Spare at least 20 minutes daily to perform these exercises. You can perform them immediately after your regular hockey workouts, before or after bedtime.
As a hockey player, maybe you have your way of achieving improved strength, focus, flexibility, balance and more to make your hockey career successful. The question is, is it easy your way? Or are you sometimes forced to skip training? The truth is, yoga offers you the easiest way to make your game better. The great thing about yoga for weightloss for beginners exercises is the fact that they can be performed anywhere, anytime and the best part, they don’t require equipment. So, try adding it to your exercise routine and see how far you can go.