Yoga is a spiritual and full-body practice. It strengthens the mind and the body. The benefits of yoga are well known, and people worldwide swear by the immense benefits. Many athletes from all disciplines have turned to the practice to help with strength, flexibility, and to improve their overall performance in their competitive arena. This low-impact exercise has been around for thousands of years and continues to be one of the most popular forms of exercise today.
Professional FIFA soccer players are especially drawn to the practice. They put a lot of pressure on their hips, knees, calves, and ankles.
Also, there is a lot of mental pressure. Soccer is the most popular sport worldwide; therefore, there is a lot of stress around game-time performance. Here are the top reasons why FIFA soccer athletes hit the mat and add yoga to their daily life.
Stay Calm and Focused on the Pitch
Along with a healthy diet, green and red superfood, and lots of water, yoga can enhance your overall outlook on life. It has been proven to provide many health benefits, such as reduced heart rate and blood pressure. Yoga is also used to treat anxiety and depression. When the body is in a state of relaxation, the brain is serene. It is also known to increase self-control and reduce unattractive hot-headed reactions. Staying calm under pressure is admirable. Too often, blustery altercations occur on the field, and it is a miserable display of self-control.
It is commendable to see professional players play with grace when faced with disappointment.
FIFA players Per Mertesacker and Antonio Conte have used yoga for years to stay focused and relaxed on the field. Christen Press practices yoga three times a week. She attributes being a happier player to her constant yoga practice. Yoga helps to keep the mind from wandering and helps redirect thoughts back to the body and breath. This practice of remaining focused and calm is generalized to the field.
Increase Flexibility and Strength
Yoga is an obvious choice for gaining optimal flexibility, especially in the hips. Top soccer injuries are usually to the soft tissues, such as the hamstrings and hip flexors. Therefore, it is crucial to maximize strength and range of motion in these areas. During a pose, you are encouraged to sink into it and move deeper for a period of time. Breathwork helps you remain focused while you move beyond your comfort zone. Not only are you increasing flexibility, but you are also increasing strength as you hold your body still in a specific position.
Lionel Messi and David Beckham, two of the most well-known and celebrated FIFA players, implement yoga to strengthen their bodies, and protect them from injuries. Messi’s well-documented workout finishes with a yoga routine designed by Rodney Yee, a famous American yoga instructor.
Prolong an Athletic Career
Studies have found that yoga keeps your mind and body younger. John Terry, the ultra-talented central defender, used yoga to prolong his career and keep his body in top shape during his twilight career years. Ryan Giggs, who played until the age of 40, also attributes his long career to a daily yoga practice. Yoga is an essential practice that should be implemented in any soccer workout. Maintaining a clear mind and a healthy body are perks every athlete could appreciate.
Here are five popular poses that are used by your favorite FIFA soccer athletes.
1.Downward Facing Dog
This pose works on the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, ankles, and Achilles. Spending time holding this position promotes strength and flexibility.
2. Pigeon Pose
Pigeon Pose is a great hip opener. In addition, it is a great calming and stress relieving pose.
3. Half Splits
Half Splits open up the hamstrings and release tightness. This pose is excellent for a post-field workout.
4. Wide Angle Seating Bend
This pose opens up the groin and strengthens the spine.
5. Low Lunge
The lunge is great for the hip flexors and gaining mobility in the hips. Maintaining healthy hip mobility is essential to soccer.