If you’re like most men, and sadly still think Yoga is a more feminine workout, there’s about 1/3rd of every team in the 2018 World Cup series that would beg to differ. From current players to coaches, team managers and even referees; it seems they all know something here at GuavaPass we already know, but might not have convinced you of yet. Yoga is one of the only workouts that can reduce injury frequency, increase agility, response time, and flexibility, and overall improve a players game without the stresses of regular high-intensity workouts
Often, people think certain poses in Yoga look strange, uncomfortable and frankly, almost impossible. But have you ever seen a still of Ronaldo or Messi striking the ball, or jumping for a header? It looks impossible, doesn’t it? This fact is exactly why Yoga specifically can and has improved the skill set of many players yet. It’s in the strangest and hardest poses that balance, coordination and strength are built.
1. Lionel Messi
After his internet-breaking opening goal of the game, the captain of Argentina Lionel Messi has been moved into the spotlight for this series. It’s no surprise so many people are wanting to find out his fitness routine, diet, and tips for success.
Just like many other footballers before him, Messi completes most of his days with a powerful Yoga session (especially after training) to pump fresh blood around the body, stretch tight muscles and release any residual stress. His Yoga sessions are curated specifically for him by longtime Yoga instructor, Rodney Yee.
2. David Beckham
There aren’t many other players, past or present, that are as popular as David Beckham. Maybe it’s because of his strikingly good…skills on the field… Beckham has always stayed on top of his game and does so by combing workout styles on and off the field. David and his wife, Victoria Beckham, both practice Yoga and have the figures to show it. Many people know Shona Vertue as the Yoga guru who helped Beckham cure his back and soccer aches through Yoga. When questioned about his Yoga style, he consistently talks about how she changed his perspective of the workout, and since their first class, he’s been a no.1 fan.
Yoga has given the football superstar the tools to tap into unknown levels of relaxation, as well as core and functional strength. He’s even reportedly practiced couple’s power Yoga with his wife for deeper intimacy and connection…
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
In every game he plays, Ronaldo continues to surprise fans and the world with his undeniably astounding skills. But this level of athleticism didn’t happen overnight – this is the result of thousands of hours practicing, countless Friday and Saturday nights spent in, and of course a results-driven fitness and diet plan.
In his most recent documentary, Ronaldo walked through his grueling workout schedule and it’s no surprise that Yoga was a key component. He said this practice was a daily routine, saying it helps better his performance through improved focus, flexibility, recovery time and agility, as well as providing useful skills in breathing and stress control.
4. David Silva
Dubbed Spain’s “Messi”, Silva is one of Manchester’s finest, and top-tier on the world stage. He’s thanked many people including his team, his coach and his family for helping him pursue his dream to play professional football. Alongside these important people in his life, he also credits his success to Ryan Gigg – the man who introduced him to Yoga, allowing him to reach the level of skill he currently possesses.
5. Antonio Conte
Some people say the coach is the most valuable player on the team, and without them, the game would be nothing like what it is. So, we decided to look to the fitness routines of players turned coaches, to see what we can find. Conte, the Chelsea manager, was one of the most interesting stories, as he’s used Yoga not just to improve his overall fitness but to reduce his hyperactiveness and stress; a product of his demanding and engrossing work on the field edges.
6. Ryan Giggs
Giggs is another interesting ex-World Cup player who credits much of his time spent on the field avoiding injuries to the all-encompassing workout that is Yoga. Ryan Giggs played his entire career with Manchester United, and a shockingly long career it was. Giggs spent 23 years on the green, almost 3 times the industry average. When asked what his routine was like during his playing career, United’s former fitness and conditioning coach Mick Clegg stated that “everyone knows Giggs does Yoga” and noted “Ryan is an incredibly open-minded athlete,” in an interview with United Review. After retiring at 41, Giggs quickly took on the role of manager for the Wales national team as well as the co-owner of Salford City.
But in addition to that, Giggs found his knowledge on extending football careers and reducing players’ time spent on the bench from injuries, was highly valued in the sporting community. From his mid-twenties, Giggs was missing 10 or 12 games per season due to problems he was getting with his hamstrings and lower back. He implemented a full body and mind programme based heavily on Yoga, designed to build flexibility, core, balance and whole-body strength and it worked. He stopped missing training sessions, stopped missing games, and became one of the most well-known names in the industry because of this.
Yoga helped him win 17 trophies including 13 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups and 2 Champions League trophies.
Now, with Ryan being a convert of the discipline for years, and together with his enthusiastic and experienced instructor Sarah Ramsden, they developed a series of exciting and results-based DVDs and online videos called “Giggs Fitness”, helping people of any fitness level, reach peak strength and flexibility levels, no matter their experience.