Sean Vigue is THE man. And quite the Fit Bottomed Dude! This is the third year he’s guest posting for Fit Bottomed Dudes’ Week and we simply love his take on yoga — for both men and women. Sean Vigue teaches yoga, Pilates, boot camps and is a personal trainer while living in the mountains of Colorado and waiting for the release of his first book, Power Yoga for Athletes, coming May 1 from Fair Winds Press wherever books are sold. He’s taught more than 5,000 live classes and been featured in more than 1,000 workout videos found worldwide. When not working in the fitness industry, Sean is a professional singer/actor/dancer who’s performed over 50 lead roles in opera, music theater and non-musical shows. He’s also YouTube’s Most Watched Yoga and Pilates Guy. Take classes with Sean by subscribing to his YouTube Channel and check out his website. And read on for why athletes need yoga in their fit lives!
Are you an athlete looking for a “secret weapon” to improve your performance on every level and leave your rivals in the dust? Whatever your sport of choice, yoga can help you improve focus, flexibility, speed, and of course, power. There’s a reason such sport powerhouses as the Seattle Seahawks, the Philadelphia Eagles, Lebron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Victor Cruz, Evan Longoria and Kevin Love use yoga in their training. It’s easily accessible, can be done anywhere, and it’s available to anyone wanting to take their game to the next level. I work with athletes of all levels and ages in both my classes and private practice and have seen first-hand the massive benefits one can reap from spending only a few hours a week on the mat. These benefits are available to anyone who wants them.
5 Reasons Athletes Need Yoga
1. Injury prevention. Athletes repetitively overuse certain muscle groups, and most athletes are overdeveloped in certain areas and underdeveloped in others. This causes imbalances in strengthening and lengthening. The overdeveloped muscles become tight, pulling on ligaments and joints, decreasing the athlete’s range of motion. Yoga works your body as a whole, balancing out the imbalances and bringing your body into proper alignment for maximum performance … and making your body more resilient to injury. We love our sports and want to keep doing them as long as possible.
2. Increased performance and endurance. I mentioned this in the previous paragraph, but it can’t be overstated: yoga will increase your performance in ANY sport. I always tell my classes that you will do everything better, from doing insane triathlons to getting out of a chair, with more control, strength, precision and focus. Yoga is a total-body workout and the ultimate cross-training tool for peak performance. It will keep you energized and spike your endurance while your non-yoga-doing rival is coasting on fumes. You will outlast your opponent and you will triumph!
3. Core strength. Without core (abs, low back, hips and glutes) strength you don’t have strength. The core is the center of your body, and every movement you do either originates in the core or passes directly through. You can’t function at 100 percent without a strong, balanced and flexible core. A healthy core also maintains a healthy spine because it can take pressure off the spine and help prevent injury. Fortunately, yoga is full of poses that work the core from all angles (see below) and keep it firing on and off the field.
4. Mind and body balance. Building better balance and coordination translates to better control over your body and how you use it. We know that yoga emphasizes working your mind and body as a whole instead of isolating certain areas of your body. As a result, your body moves more efficiently, and your form and technique improve. From pitching a baseball to staying focused on a long bike ride or run, you’ll do it with more precision and awareness.
5. Recovery time. This could be the most important benefit of yoga to athletes when their schedule is non-stop. Hockey players have multiple games per week, football players have a short time to recover from a brutal game and long-distance runners need to stay healthy to stay on their very demanding training schedules. Studies have shown that athletes can come to a full recovery from injury through yoga practice. Indeed, yoga therapy is a growing method of physical therapy for injury recovery widely recognized by Western medicine.
I could list many, many more benefits but my words mean nothing next to actual experience. So, be sure to check out this post on how to get started on your personal yoga practice. You’ll be reaping the benefits in no time at all! —Sean Vigue