Functional yoga is part of the NSW Swifts’ weekly training program with the sessions providing the following benefits to players:
- Improved proprioception: Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense movement, action and location. It enables you to move without thinking – to walk without constantly thinking about where you are going to place your foot next. Proprioception encompasses three aspects: agility, balance and coordination. Functional yoga works to progressively increase the complexity of a technique or pose while maintaining movement accuracy. The emphasis is on quality of movement instead of the quantity of muscle work. Improvements in proprioception can enhance performance and reduce injury risk.
- Improved movement efficiency: Sport-specific yoga can improve how well an athlete moves. It does this by improving the stability and structural integrity of movement at the joint, and by improving functional mobility around the joint.
- Injury prevention: Including functional yoga in the warm-up prepares the mind and body for sport by connecting the breath to lower level movements that replicate biomechanics of a sport and by preparing the muscles and joints for more demanding load. More efficient movement can reduce injury risk. Post-exercise functional yoga provides a great way to prevent muscle soreness, reduce injury risk and prepare the body for the next training session or event.