Recovery is one of the most essential factors of fighting and training yet it is also one of the most neglected. Yoga will not only help you to recover faster and prevents injuries, but I will wager to say that it will also make you a faster learner of Muay Thai and any physical activity.
First things first. Let’s talk injury prevention. As you might expect, tight muscles aren’t good.
Just imagine two scenarios. Let’s say you have a rubber band that’s been frozen, if you stretch it… it snaps. However, if you have a rubber band that’s nice and warm and has been tanning in the sun for a while, you can stretch it and it'll do its job without problem.
Yoga is a way to warm up your body so that you are ready for the strenuous exercise that is to come. Remember: don't be a frozen rubber band.
You wouldn’t try to stretch a frozen rubber band, so do not try to force your body to work if it is not properly warmed up. How do you warm up properly? It's purely academic and Teacher Elizabeth's class is in session!
Let’s keep talking about injury prevention. One of the most common reasons why athletes (of all sports) get injured is because of faulty positions.
Take, for example, an "ego lifter" at the gym, deadlifting with his back rounded like a cat. A recipe for disaster, that is. So we must address how people get into these faulty positions in the first place.
Besides poor instruction, one of the primary reasons this happens is because of muscle imbalances. Let’s say that your right side is more developed than your left. Imagine what that looks like when you’re benching or even when you’re squatting. The weight will not be distributed evenly, resulting in an injury. By practicing yoga, you’re making sure that your body is loose and that your muscle imbalances are addressed.
Yoga also improves your mobility, and mobility itself is what will make you learn faster. Improving your mobility is like widening your vocabulary. One of the reasons why beginners struggle to learn how to kick is because they lack the mobility to do so. Imagine if you knew every single word that existed in the English language. That would be a mighty nice tool to have if you were a writer.
The final reason I have why you should do some yoga is because it will help boost your recovery. After a workout, your muscles contract. Your body recovers by restoring the length of that muscle. Stretching, then, becomes a no-brainer.
Faster recovery means, too, that you will have far more time to train and means that you will be able to train for longer. And who doesn’t want to spend more time training, right?
Like all things, doing yoga and warming up properly may be a bit tedious in the beginning, but it will pay off in the end.
Try this post-training stretching routine after your next workout and see how much better you feel post-training!
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