Monthly Archives: March 2017

Functional Fitness Yoga For Runners

If you are a runner and your aim is to reach peak performance, Functional Fitness Yoga (FFY) is a perfect complement to your running. It loosens tight spots, strengthens weak spots, and makes you a better, less injury-prone runner. You will become faster and fitter.

Apart from creating a good feel factor, FFY increases:
Strength & Flexibility (core, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors)
Balance
Focus
Lung capacity

Strength & Flexibility
FFY can help you find the right balance between strength and flexibility. Sessions aim to build your strength, especially the core. A strong core provides the foundation for efficient,  economical movement in the limbs, and is therefore critical for injury prevention.

These sessions challenge your muscles in both isometric and isotonic exercises. Isometric strength develops when you hold a pose for a long time, forcing your muscles to work against a static resistance. Such long holds develop the strength that helps you hold your core steady while you run. On the other hand, isotonic strength comes from dynamic motion in and out of poses. Building isotonic strength will support your running.

While you need strength to run well, you also need enough flexibility to move fluidly through the proper range of motion. Developing appropriate flexibility in the muscles will allow you to find the most efficient patterns for your stride. Greater mobility in your joints will ease strain, thus preventing injury. Lack of mobility at the joints can strain ligaments, tendons and muscles, will eventually reduce efficiency.

Balance
FFY are well-rounded yoga sessions that develop balance in the body by including a generic mix of poses that target the whole body as one ‘unit’. You will improve your running by increasing your sense of just where your body is in space and how to move your body  through space. This builds neural connections between your brain and your muscles and increases your ability to activate the smaller stabilizing muscles in your lower legs, improving your balance on the road.

Focus
The keys to endurance are efficient form and focus. Through smooth and deep conscious breathing, FFY helps your running whatever your pace. By finding a way to relax and smooth your breathing, you will end up reducing effort and use less energy to maintain efficient form a bit longer and stay focused on the way ahead.

Lung capacity
Lung capacity is vital for runners because it creates the ability to maintain an even breathing pattern through all the phases of running. The better the lung capacity is, the more oxygen is circulated through the system, which is most helpful for running long and strong. Yogic breathing has been proven to increase lung capacity, which increases endurance and improves overall athletic performance.

RaYoga Malta offers Functional Fitness Yoga sessions, all beneficial to runners. It’s all about choosing the right class according to your specific needs.