Cycling has long been a competitive sport. It can be stressful at times, especially during competition. It might surprise you to know that, a number of cyclists will do yoga before they enter a competition to calm their nerves themselves for the race ahead.
In this article, we will be discussing why yoga is now so popular for professional cyclists’ and the benefits that yoga provides for athletes before they enter competition mode.
Just a quick mention, before we enter into the article, Exhale Yoga has been exclusively asked by the SA Tour Down Under to run yoga classes for the professional athletics that are taking part in the tour.
The classes will be held each day before the races commence at the Tour Down Under village.
Why Yoga is Essential for Athletes both Physically and Mentally
Yoga is regarded as an essential part of training for high- performance cyclists because it assists with the mental and physical aspects of professional cycling. It was originally thought to be purely for relaxation but there are many reasons why cyclists should invest in yoga. They are:
- Doing yoga stretches your muscles and improves your flexibility. This means when you lengthen and stretch your muscles it prevents injuries, backs pain and improves balance problems. A well-stretched muscle also provides a full range of motion and allows you to get your moving or relaxing after a long day.
- You will also gain strength in your core muscles and core strength is needed when cycling complicated parts of the course to maintain balance.
- Yoga will help you calm your mind and improve the executive function of the brain where we process information and regulate emotions. What this means is that you will enhance your mental focus. You may also build your mental toughness for climbing steep hills or ignore the demanding weather conditions to just maintain your focus and commitment to your race.
- Yoga can help you to mentally self-regulate your emotions which are great for cyclists who might feel nervous before entering the competition. You will notice that your mind will be more competitively sharp so that you can strategically plan your performance and commit to your plan.
- Having a calm mind also helps you to maintain your mental perspective during the race to hold the competitive edge.
Yoga Benefits for High-Performance Athletes
When it comes to High Performance in any athletic sport, athletes are looking for the edge to enhance their performance. The mental and physical benefits of doing yoga to help with your sports performance will be surprising. What you will first notice is how quickly you recover physically and mentally to hold mental sharpness and physical vigour for the next day’s performance. Other benefits are:
Doing yoga provides therapeutic benefits
Your energy levels will improve
You will gain body alignment and your posture will greatly develop
Respiratory rate will decrease
Endurance will increase
Blood Pressure will decrease
Your weight will normalise
There you have it in a snapshot of what yoga offers for competitive cyclists and athletes. You will notice these benefits appear when you attend yoga regularly and you will be surprised how quickly your mind and body respond.
Exhale Yoga has been asked to exclusively support the well-being of the professional cyclists for the Tour Down Under bicycle race that will be running through South Australia. Come and join us at the Tour Down Under village as Rosie takes the class each morning.
If you have any questions about this blog or on the classes Exhale has available, please contact us through the website’s contact page.