Pilates and yoga exercises are highly beneficial cross training tools for boys who play a variety of sports. Specifically, pilates and yoga are examples of neuromotor exercise (proprioceptive training) and functional fitness that develops balance, coordination, gait, and agility. Adding pilates and yoga to a sport specific program can help young athletes gain balanced muscular development, flexibility and stability about joints, and reduce injury.
Below are 5 ways pilates and yoga can help boys increase their athletic skills:
- Reduces injuries due to repetitive motion. Pilates and yoga can help by strength training both sides of the body equally to prevent misalignments and to develop joints that have both stability and mobility.
- Improves precision and coordination needed to execute intricate movements in dance, tennis or baseball. Pilates and yoga focuses on the mind/body connection which enhances proprioceptive skills creating precise movement patterns.
- Increases flexibility essential to all sports. Flexibility training is necessary in sports, especially for dance and golf when the spine needs to rotate, flex, and extend.
- Increases abdominal/torso strength which will limit compensatory movements that can lead to wear and tear on the spine.
- Improvement with ADHD symptoms. Studies suggest that boys who practice mind/body exercises have greater concentration and show a reduction in ADHD symptoms.