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The Role of Yoga in Your Ice Hockey Workouts

December 10th, 2012 Posted in Stretching/Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago. People from different cultures and backgrounds may have different meanings for it. However, it is a general name for all those exercises that affect the participant spiritually, mentally, and physically. Yoga is done through deep breathing exercises and thus one may feel calm on nerves and senses. It also focuses on stretches that can help achieve flexibility for ice hockey workouts. Deep breathing also reduces the probability of injuries.

Hockey is the kind of sport that brings multiple muscles and bones into action. Ice hockey athletes are required to possess outstanding limb power, muscle strength, speed, and of course flexibility in order to achieve the game’s elite levels. Be it a dry-land workout session or the actual game, dynamic movements are always present. Ice hockey players are supposed to show tremendous performance using primarily their legs and lower back.

Yoga is a comprehensive discipline that addresses several muscles and joints. You can always find a yoga exercise pertaining to your specific needs. Therefore, if it is about being remarkable in your workouts, you surely can have a yoga exercise for that too. You can perform different exercises at different times, such as pre-game yoga, post-game yoga, and yoga exercises in the normal course of your routine. It will help you achieve strength both during off-season and on-season.

While pre-game yoga training is effective in gaining flexibility and reducing the chances of injuries during the on-ice performance, post-game yoga will help you relieve the stress you had during the game. It also enables you to regain control over your breathing process and get ready for subsequent games or workouts. Several pros practice yoga exercises on a regular basis for on-ice and off-ice conditioning due to an array of benefits that yoga offers.

Yoga exercises do not focus on weight lifting for the purpose of muscle building or achieving flexibility. Instead, it uses one’s body weight to achieve core strength. An athlete performing yoga training may not look like a heavy-weight champion, but he would still have that level of strength that can win him a competition on the rink. In fact, some yoga trainings are forceful enough to make you sweat as if you had been running for hours.

The most rewarding benefit of yoga is the ability to focus and meditate. Participants go though deep breathing exercises and maintain certain body postures for a long period while concentrating on their goals. It enables athletes to concentrate on their game when on the ice rink and avoid the surrounding distractions that might be physical or mental.

Yoga may seem to be an easygoing exercise. However, in reality, it isn’t the case. You have to exert a lot of pressure to make that happen. Once you include yoga exercise in your daily workout, you will see the results in terms of improved flexibility, strength, core power, relieved stress, recovery, focused mind, and the ability to work and play nonstop.

A great resource that we found is “The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga: A Personalized Practice for Strength, Flexibility, and Focus” by Sage Roundtree.  Choose from 7 preset routines targeting different points in the training cycle and addressing specific problem areas, or arrange segments in any order to build a custom workout lasting anywhere from two minutes to two hours.

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