Everfit proudly presents a series of articles by Meghan Janse van Rensburg’s regarding the invaluable benefits of yoga for triathletes. Regarding swimming, biking and running, yoga will expose and correct weak links in form, whilst improving flexibility, core strength, muscle functionality and breathing. In short, you will be a better athlete with a better performance on race day. (You can arrange classes for your own triathlon group with Meghan.)
Why yoga? What does yoga offer that differs from strength work, such as Pilates? Yoga allows for good recovery after hard training sessions while still improving flexibility and breathing. The emphasis shifts more from contraction and power to stretching and flexibility, making it a superb form of active recovery. The duration of a yoga class is normally the best part of an hour.
It is important to know that yoga poses should not be seen as individual exercises. Constructive yoga is always a set of flowing movements that will take your body to new levels of flexibility and muscle control. Another main objective is to maintain controlled breathing at all times. This translates directly to a better performance when applied during a triathlon or any endurance event.
Sun Salutation: this flow systematically moves you from one posture to another according to breath.
The benefits: this flow addresses a complex set of muscle movement, flexibility and core strength. In short, for running, it stretches and decompresses the entire spine, whist improving leg and achilles flexibility. For biking it addresses shoulder and arm strength for better form. For swimming it loosens up the entire back for a relaxed, straight swimming posture.
1.) We start in Plank pose. Hands placed directly under the shoulders, fingers spread wide, feet hip wide apart, the core is activated and the focus is on keeping the hips lifted.
2.) Inhale to shift forward chest forward, moving off the balls of the feet and onto the toes. Exhale Brings you down to Chaturanga, keeping the elbows tucked to the body we bend the arms to no more than a 90 degree angle.
3.) Inhale sweeps the chest through and up, straightening the arms to Upward Facing Dog. The legs are active here, bringing the knees of the floor.
4.) Exhale tucks chin to chest as we sweep the hips up and back. Focusing on spreading the shoulder blades, pushing chest towards thighs and working the heels down the the mat.
Regular yoga classes will add to the longevity and performance level of your triathlon career. Give it a go!
To arrange classes for your triathlon club or training group, call Meghan on 078 3647618 or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org