Using Yoga to Improve Your Martial Arts Performance
For some Martial Arts Practitioners, Yoga may seem like an odd way to improve your performance. One is fighting based, the other is more passive, a meditation more than an exercise. In truth, Yoga and Martial Arts are very similar, and top Martial Arts competitors know that incorporating Yoga into their training regime can really give them a performance edge.
The Similarities between Yoga and Martial Arts
Both Yoga and Martial Arts are used to promote personal development, increase awareness of self and release tension. The object being to awaken and use the energy within us in a controlled way, and to cultivate the ability to act with a clear mind without the need to consciously think. Like Martial Arts, Yoga also emphasises letting go of distractions and being mindful of only the present.
Much the way one would, when offering a prayer or reading up about NRL betting tips.
How can Yoga improve Martial Arts?
For most Martial Arts practitioners who incorporate Yoga into their training, this is considered the number one benefit. Repetitive exercises like those that are practiced during your MA training can build muscular knots, with tighter, shorter muscle fibres. Great for putting power behind the punches, but not so effective when it comes to reach. Increased flexibility also reduces the risk of over extension injuries.
Certain Yoga stances will stretch muscles and improve flexibility in general. This gives improved reach and power in punches, easier high kick form and submissions.
This is true for both physical and mental endurance. Holding the various Yoga poses for prolonged periods will increase your body strength over all, increasing stamina and mental endurance. Many of the Yoga poses are awkward and uncomfortable and require a mind over matter approach. The breathing techniques also help you to focus on your body.
Every Martial Artist will agree that more than any other skill, focus and mental endurance are the of utmost importance.
Strengthen your Core
A strong and flexible core is the foundation for solid punches and kicks. Without a strong core your form will suffer. The very basis of Yoga poses all engage your core muscles. A stronger core will translate directly into stronger kicks and punches.
Less Recovery Time
Yoga teaches focus and intense muscle control. Being able to exercise extreme control when performing Martial Arts moves reduces the risk of common injuries. The stretching and relaxing that yoga induces will relax muscles allowing them to heal faster.
Certain yoga poses will require you to balance on a specific body part only, like your arm or leg. Improved balance when delivering kicks is essential to MMA, and being balanced allows you to move quickly and easily.
Best Yoga Poses for Martial Artists
- Revolved Abdomen Pose
Increases stability in the spine, stretches back muscles, lengthens and realigns spine and spinal disks.
- Side Plank Pose
Improve balance and mind body coordination. Focuses breathing and strengthens wrists and core muscles
- Cobra Pose
Excellent for relaxing, relieves stress, and stretches and opens lungs and heart.
- Childs Pose
Stretches out muscles and ligaments in the knees, loosens hips and thighs, and promotes correct breathing techniques.
- Standing Forward Bend
Lower body strength particularly in the thighs and knees, stretches calves and hips and reduces anxiety.
- Revolved and Resolved Triangle
Improves core coordination
- Corpse Pose
An excellent asana to finish with, it promotes relaxation, lower BP and relieves stress
Yoga and Martial Arts are both equally mentally and physically challenging, so it makes sense that they are complimentary disciplines, and both very spiritual practices.