Leading sports people do everything they can to perform at their peak. Which is why there are many top adventure athletes that do yoga, pilates and piyo. ‘What is piyo?’ we can hear you asking – we’ll get to that shortly.
Top sports people love to practice yoga, pilates and piyo because it can help to improve performance, condition and longevity. They use these disciplines to stay in shape, boost flexibility and prolong careers.
Pro athletes – and everyday folk – are turning to yoga, pilates and piyo to get their bodies in top shape. Below, we’ll give you a run-down of some of the best adventure athletes who work out on the mat. But before we do, here’s a quick summary of piyo and why people are giving it a go.
Piyo combines the stretching and flexibility benefits of yoga and pilates. It does this to music with a mix of choreographed moves that are sped up to provide a cardio workout.
Not only can it help to strengthen muscles and joints but it can also help to burn fat and build muscle. It’s a dynamic workout that is low impact so is easy on the joints. But it also helps to improve core strength, balance and agility.
The benefits of yoga and pilates have long been espoused by famous athletes. From footballers and basketball players to surfers and snowboarders – sports people seem to love it.
Often yoga or pilates is started to improve athletes career longevity, or to get over an injury. But they soon realise yoga and pilates also help improve their speed, strength and endurance. Plus there are mental benefits from these sports.
It seems like piyo has now been added to the list of conditioning and performance training. But don’t just take our word for it, let’s have a close look at some of the pro endurance and top adventure athletes that do yoga, pilates or piyo.
Travis Rice is probably most famous snowboarder in the world. As you might expect he’s in top shape. Not only does he need to be able to take some beatings off massive jumps, but he spends much of his time backcountry hiking, digging and climbing in deep snow.
As he moved into his mid 30s, his body was not able to recover as quickly as it once did. Which is why he added yoga to his training regime.
He has since used yoga to improve his core strength, as well as preventing injuries and boosting his recovery time. Each morning when he wakes up he practices Jivamukti yoga for 10 minutes to get his body going. And he credits this for keeping him at the top of the sport.
Surfing and yoga go hand in hand. In fact many surf camps include yoga as part of their daily routine.
Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater practices regularly and has added yoga to his training regime. He’s good at it too, and can touch the top of his head to his heels in an impressive looking King Pigeon pose.
Talking about yoga, he says that: ‘A lot of my injuries come from stiffness, imbalances’ and believes that yoga helps him to iron out these issues and stay fit and healthy.
However, it’s not just the physical side of yoga that Slater enjoys. He is also a big fan of what yoga can teach us about mindfulness and expectation. Plus he thinks yoga helps him to keep an open mind.
Adding: ‘It’s hard to go through life and not get stuck in patterns. I think that’s when you grow old. When your mind is not expanding and staying open, you really age, physically as well.’
Sponsored by Specialized Bikes and BMW, Hannah Barnes is a professional mountain biker based in Scotland. Hannah is enthusiastic about incorporating yoga into both her personal and professional life. She is also keen to bring other riders to the discipline.
‘Yoga is something that I think is slowly working its way into training schedules,’ she said. ‘Whether it’s to improve mobility and integrity of the hip flexors, balance and proprioception, respiratory strength, sleep, or injury management, the benefits are endless.’
That’s why she practices most days and feels like yoga keeps her healthier and able to ride for longer.
Dutch windsurfer Arrianne Aukes has been into yoga for a number of years. In fact, she is so into it that she is running a yoga and windsurfing camp in Bonaire.
Talking about how yoga helps her perform better on the board, she said: ‘I started doing yoga because I felt it really helped me. It improves my strength, flexibility and helped me focus more and you can do it whenever and wherever you are. I love doing all kinds of sports, but for me yoga is more of a challenge than doing difficult exercises in the gym.’
She goes on to add: ‘When I first started competing I was always out of breath within a few minutes during my heats even although I was in very good shape. Yoga made me focus more on my breathing. Doing yoga makes me more flexible’.
Kendrick Louis says pilates has helped him to reach the top spot in the Ironman series. And that is not an easy place to get to.
Talking about the discipline, he says: ‘At first I didn’t think pilates was for blokes. I started doing a bit more research and I noticed a lot of top-level athletes like LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo lived by pilates… It is one of those things that you don’t know how good it is until you actually do it.’
So, if you’re been asking yourself ‘what is piyo?’, now you know. It’s a unique combination of the best aspects of yoga and pilates with moves to music.
Perhaps it could be what helps you take your performance to the next level? With so many top adventure athletes that do yoga, pilates or piyo you should probably add it to your training regime too.
We hope you found this article interesting. Whatever action sports you like to do please check out our adventure holiday discounts as you could save a fortune.