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Fitness

Why Every Athlete Should Do Yoga

 

 

Why Every Athlete Should Do Yoga

Heidi Kristoffer

 

Yoga is for everyone, athletes included. Yoga works on strength, flexibility, balance, agility, endurance, core, and overall strength, among other things. Any athlete could benefit hugely by adding yoga to her or his training regimen. Here’s more details on a few of the perks:

Strength: No amount of weight-lifting with free weights will give you the strength that consistently holding up your own body weight will.

Flexibility: Practicing yoga increases flexibility and ease of movement, therefore increasing range of motion. In particular, athletes in sports that require swinging action (tennis, golf, etc.) can benefit greatly. Flexibility in general also helps to prevent injury.

Balance: Balancing poses in yoga improve overall balance in everything you do, preventing falls and injury.  When you learn how to be soft and go with the flow, you can more easily bend and are less likely to break or fall over.

Endurance: The endurance that the ease of yoga gives you lends to endurance sports like running, triathlons, and Iron Mans. When you learn to tune into your body and mind, everything can be a meditation—sports included. Yoga also helps you learn how to pace yourself: slow and steady, in it for the long haul.

Core: Almost everything you do in yoga works on your core strength. Strong core equals a healthy back and a healthy body.

Stability: Yoga helps strengthen all of the little stabilizing muscles that people tend to miss in other physical workouts and are vital in protecting your joints and spine (among other things).

Recovery: Yoga also helps put athletes back together after injuries. Again: You’re tuning into your body and giving it the care it wants and needs. Yoga also elongates all of the muscles that athletes spend so long contracting, so it is a great counter-action.

Most importantly, yoga changes the way you think and approach everything in life: When you learn to move with ease and stop forcing things, you will prevent injuries and your body will open with your mind, increasing your flexibility all around.

Get Your Roll On – What, Why, And How You Should Foam Roll

Get Your Roll On – What, Why, And How You Should Foam Roll

What Is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a really common form of soft tissue work that’s cheap, simple, and effective, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.  Strategically rolling your body over a cylindrical piece of foam to create a desired effect.

4 P’s to Approaching Nutrition Like a Pro

Original article: https://www.theartofcoachingvolleyball.com/4-ps-to-approaching-nutrition...

 

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to professionalize your approach to volleyball, and nutrition is one area where you can do this.

Based on my experience, the earlier you pay attention to nutrition and begin to learn about how and why it impacts your performance, the more you’ll benefit later in your volleyball career. Consider these 4 P’s to get you started!

Pinpoint: Begin by looking for areas where you can improve your nutrition strategies. This may be:

  • Hydration on or off the court.
  • Recovery nutrition habits following practice or weight sessions.
  • Sleep habits.
  • Training meals and snacks.
  • Fueling before and during training sessions or matches.

Sometimes it’s helpful to ask others – like a coach or teammate – for feedback or assistance to pinpoint areas of improvement.

Keeping Young Athletes Hydrated

Keeping Young Athletes Hydrated

Original post here: http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/sponsor-story/cayugamed/2017/10/22/ke...

 

Active teens and children often fail to recognize and respond to the signs of dehydration such as; thirst, fatigue, irritability, cramps and headaches. Dehydration, if allowed to progress, can lead to dangerous health consequences, such as heat stroke. However, even relatively mild dehydration, a loss of just 2% of body weight from fluid loses by sweating and evaporative loses during exercise, can contribute to fatigue and impaired sports performance.

While it’s important to guard against dehydration, the opposite extreme of over-hydration, is also not recommended. Over-consuming fluids may leave the athlete feeling bloated and uncomfortable during training or competition.

The goal for all athletes is appropriate hydration to meet their fluid needs while avoiding both under- and over-hydration.

Here are some hydration tips to guide your young athletes:

Before exercise:

Dynamic Stretching vs. Static Stretching

Dynamic Stretching vs. Static Stretching

by Taylor Tollison

Original post: http://www.elitesoccerconditioning.com/Stretching-Flexibility/DynamicStretchingvsStaticStretching.htm

 

As coaches and trainers we will perform anything from plyometrics to sprinting to reduce injury and increase performance. The real question is whether the type of stretching we chose to perform before activity will have an affect on the performance and injury levels of our athletes.

 

STATIC STRETCHING

 

How I Learned To Love My Body As A Female Athlete

How I Learned To Love My Body As A Female Athlete

Society can no longer tell me what is and isn’t beautiful by Victoria Garrick

Original post:  https://sports.good.is/features/female-athlete-body-image

February 1, 2017

Editor’s note: To help celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day we asked University of Southern California athlete Victoria Garrick for her take on being a female athlete in 2017. 

For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to act: Poised. Sweet. Quiet.

For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to be: Gentle. Delicate. Soft.

For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to look: Skinny. Sexy. Beautiful.

For so long, society never told women that we could be strong.

The idea of what it means to be a beautiful woman has changed for me many times. In 2011, when I was 13, I thought beautiful meant weighing the same as the Victoria’s Secret models I googled. In 2013, at 15, I thought beautiful meant having the hashtag-famous “thigh gap.” In 2016, at the age of 18, I thought beautiful meant not having to edit your pictures on Instagram.

Graduating high school, I was a lean girl happy with my appearance. Of course, I had fallen victim to believing in society’s standards a couple of times and maybe read too many tabloid magazines, but overall I was content with myself. This changed when I became a college athlete.

When I committed to the USC Women’s Indoor Volleyball team, I was overjoyed at the opportunity and prepared to learn, but I was not prepared for the significant changes my body was about to endure. After I started lifting and practicing with a Division I team, my body began to change quickly before my eyes. All of a sudden, I was burning close to 1,300 calories a practice, lifting heavy weights, and eating around 4,000 calories each day. This was a huge change from the routine I had grown accustomed to in high school.

Image via Jim Wolf

5 Essential Nutrition Tips for Volleyball Players

5 Essential Nutrition Tips for Volleyball Players

http://www.theartofcoachingvolleyball.com/5-essential-nutrition-tips-for-volleyball-players/

smoothie

A big part of getting players to perform their best is making sure they’re eating the right things at the right time.

By Don Patterson

Experts will tell you that eating and drinking is as much a part of playing good volleyball as fitness training and practicing skills. Not surprisingly, the Penn State women’s team, which won the 2013 NCAA championship, pays close attention to nutrition.

With the new year fast approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to pass along some info on how players can improve their play by improving their diet. So we went right to the top and got five tips from Dr. Kristine Clark, who is Penn State’s director of sports nutrition.

Penn State Volleyball

Dr. Clark, who has a Ph.D and is a registered dietician, works with the Penn State women’s volleyball team, and she has this to say about why nutrition is so important for athletes: “Foods from the key five food groups bring in the vitamins and minerals that allow the muscle cells to do the work that we’re demanding of them. If you aren’t eating things like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats or meat alternatives or whole grains, you’re missing out on the elements that make the inner-workings of a cell perform optimally.”

Here are Dr. Clark’s five keys to better nutrition:

1. Eat throughout the day

Athletes need fuel all day. Clark says it’s a good idea for players to eat every two to three hours.

“Every time we eat, we’re bringing nutrients and energy into the bloodstream,” she says. “That influences our ability to think because our brain uses glucose, and it’s also the primary fuel for any muscle group.”

A common problem for student/athletes is going too long between meals or snacks, Clark says. By eating more frequently, you give your body the sustenance it needs to perform well.

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