Yoga & Pilates Benefits for Athletes: Tennis & Golf
A part of every professional athlete’s career is staying on top of training. While most athletes rely on personal training, cardio and strength training – many are taking advantage of yoga and Pilates to benefit their physical and mental abilities. Yoga and Pilates have immense benefits for all types of athletic disciplines. Incorporating these classes into your training schedule will increase strength, flexibility, as well as, mindfulness and focus. In sunny Florida, both tennis and golf are popular sports for professionals, amateurs, and hobbyists – however employing a yoga and Pilates routine can benefit the rigors of these disciplines.
Yoga & Pilates for Tennis Players
Serena Williams is an avid yogi.
Venus and Serena Williams are regular yogis and use the practice to improve their tennis game. Tennis is a mental game. The quieter the mind, the better the focus. Yoga teaches quieting of the psyche which helps reset awareness. Breathing is an important part of the yoga practice but it is also beneficial to keeping tennis players relaxed during their matches. On top of mindfulness and breathing, yoga and Pilates can also build strength and keep tennis players from getting injured.
Professional tennis player, Andy Murray, credits Pilates as one of the best things he did towards recovery from back surgery.
Different yoga postures can assist tennis player in building strength in their knees, ankles, shoulders, hips and wrists preventing injuries. Pilates can also help build strength within smaller, less used muscle groups as well as strengthen your core. Tennis can throw a player’s body out of alignment causing injury to the body; yoga helps balance alignment preventing injury while building strength in underutilized muscles.
Not only does yoga and Pilates prevent injury to athletes but it also increases their flexibility. In tennis it is vital to maintain your flexibility as it helps players gain leverage throughout their game by enhancing movement. Consistent yoga and Pilates practice will ensure increased flexibility and strength both on and off the tennis courts.
Yoga & Pilates for Golfers
Tiger Woods has always been vocal with saying he actively does Pilates to aid his swing.
Similar to tennis, golf is mental game. It takes discipline and concentration to master the green. Yoga trains golfers to practice their pranayama, or breath, in order to focus on the moment and concentrate on the course. Besides training golfers to focus on their breath, yoga and Pilates can also condition a golfer’s body into better shape – by toning the core and teaching golfers to increase use of their smaller muscle groups to aid the larger, more used muscles.
Pro golfer, Charles Nardiello, is avid at practicing Reformer Pilates – crediting it for increasing his flexibility and preventing injury.
Golf is a one-sided sport, which means that the athlete utilizes one side of their body (think all those one sided golf swings). Similar to tennis, golf leaves the body unbalanced and unsymmetrical – leaving room for injuries. Through yoga and Pilates, golfers can build up strength in the opposite side of the body to create a balanced physique. Balance in the body goes a long way in preserving your youth and vitality.
Golfers who practice yoga and Pilates a few times a week will notice increased range of motion due to the increased flexibility. With gains in range of motion and strength a golfer can greatly improve their swing.
No matter what sport you play, Everbalance offers classes that can help you excel at your athletic endeavors and reach new goals. Check out our class schedule here.