5 Reasons Why Guys Should Try Yoga!

Source :Articles Base
Author: Liam Taylor

So I went to my second yoga class
on Sunday…

Photo credit: Kreg Weiss, www.myyogaonline.com/

For years I had avoided yoga in the same way most guys avoid ballet, synchronized swimming and expressive dance. As a guy who lives and breathes strength training, I had put yoga classes right up there with belly dancing and salsacise on the “girly exercise scale”.

After a recurrent weakness in my middle back was starting to interfere with my training I was told by a physio that yoga would very quickly solve the problem. Faced with the prospect of chronic back pain, I booked into my first yoga class…

And discovered it is an amazing workout!! Every guy should try it and here’s 5 reasons why…

1) Yoga will strengthen, tone and stretch your shoulders

My preconceptions about yoga were busted before I even started the class. I walked in, took one look at the yoga instructor and knew there had to be something in this. She had the kind of tone and definition in her shoulders that you only see on top athletes. Then I looked around and spotted the same phenomenon in at least 4 others in the class. Is yoga some kind of freakish shoulder workout?

About 10 minutes into the class I had the answer whilst performing my first “Downward Facing Dog”. Body trembling. Sweat pouring. Shoulders really, really working! By the end of the class my shoulders and rotator cuff had been worked and stretched in a way that years of gym training could not compete with. Without a doubt, yoga is a serious shoulder workout.

2) Yoga will strengthen your middle back muscles

Like most guys into strength training, I spent far too much time doing chest presses, pec flys and bicep curls, neglecting my middle back. The end result? I was left with weak rhomboids, rounded shoulders and a slouching posture (a phenomenon known as “upper crossed syndrome”). Although I have corrected this, I still haven’t found an effective way to target my middle back.

Until I tried Yoga! The yoga poses repeatedly and relentlessly work the middle back, making up for all those years of neglect. With each pose the instructor reminds you to “pull the shoulders back” / ” lift the chest”, fatiguing the rhomboids. For at least 3 days after my first yoga class they ached – proof that even though I train them in the gym, yoga hit them far harder and far better.

3) Yoga will improve your lower back flexibility

Of all the elements of fitness – strength, endurance, cardio and flexibility – nothing is more neglected by men than flexibility. Being able to do the splits just doesn’t gain the respect of your peers like being able to lift weights. But if you think flexibility is for girls, think again. Flexibility training is an essential part of all athletes training, from rugby players and footballers, to mixed martial artists.

Yoga is in a league of its own for increasing flexibility, particularly in the sagittal plane (bending forward) and transverse plane (twisting). You may be able to get away with poor flexibility in your 20s and 30s, but as men reach their 40s and beyond it will cause of lower back pain
and injury. Want to avoid walking sticks and medical bills? Take up yoga.

4) Yoga will improve your core strength and stability

Core strength and stability has gained so much attention over the last 5 years. In a nutshell, core strength is the ability of the torso to support the movements of the limbs. A weak core will leave you with poor function, poor balance and a high risk of injury. With all those seated resistance machines and benches for us to rest on, it is easy to neglect our core strength.

Yoga is the ultimate core workout. All of the standing yoga poses require the core to be fully engaged… or quite simply you will end up on your backside. Then as you transition through various planks and side planks your core has to work even harder. Ultimately, as you advance to poses involving head stands, shoulder stands and even hand stands, you will develop a core of steel.

5) Yoga will teach you how to relax and breathe

Chronic stress is proven to lead to decreased immune function, increased risk of infection and decreased ability to repair tissue. Men are especially bad at recognising the signs of stress, often leaving it until the inevitable breakdown, heart attack or diagnosis of high blood pressure before doing anything about it. If you train hard, work hard and play hard, something’s got to give…

Being able to relax is a vital part of fitness, but something that most men find hard to do. If you find it hard to completely switch off, then Yoga offers men the perfect opportunity to de-stress and still feel like you’re getting a good workout. Yoga also teaches you how to control your breathing and focus your mind – a must for any guy who doesn’t manage stress well.

All in all…

Yoga offers men the chance to improve on all the areas of fitness we like to neglect -(1) shoulder strength and stability, (2) middle back strength, (3) lower back flexibility, (4) core strength and (5) being able to relax! By helping you to improve these you will be able to train harder, for longer and with less risk of illness or injury.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/yoga-articles/5-reasons-why-guys-should-try-yoga-1916917.html

About the Author

Liam Taylor from everythingZing.com – gyms stevenage

About the Author