The Zoga daily stretching routine is said to relieve joint pain and stiffness and reduce muscle spasms. It is also designed to increase energy, reduce stress and increase range of motion. In addition, the stretching routine will lengthen muscles, decompress joints, improve posture and enhance athletic performance. Here is a comprehensive overview of the Zoga Stretching Routine.
What is Zoga Stretching?
Zoga was developed by Dr. Suzanne Osborne of Pure Life Inc. Dr. Osborne is also the author of the book “Pure Life, The Pura Vida Journey”. She is a retired Doctor of Chiropractic and is now an active holistic health and fitness educator.
When done daily, these low-impact stretches will increase your flexibility. In addition, some people say that it just makes them feel better. There are many stretching routines available today; however Zoga is different because instead of focusing on one body part it is more like a simple version of Yoga. You move your entire body to create a flowing circuit of stretching instead of isolated stretches. Zoga is based on physical therapy and rehabilitation style stretches.
Anyone can perform the Zoga stretching routine to increase flexibility in a quick and easy fashion without much thought; however it is designed in a specific order to relax some joints and muscles before stretching others. Zoga stretching routine can be completed it 8-10 minutes per day, divided into two parts. Part one is standing and part two is done on the floor. Some folks prefer to start with part 2 first thing in the morning, while still in bed. This is especially helpful for the elderly or those suffering from lower back pain or arthritis.
Don’t worry about going to a gym for these stretches. All you need is a little space to stretch and a thick mat. The more padding the better it is. To get started
I am just starting out in my body makeover journey and I know that adding a stretching routine is critical to improve my flexibility and prevent injury. Stretching and increasing flexibility is one aspect of most workouts that is completely overlooked and underrated. I thought the best way to start is to jump in with both feet and try out one of the most popular and intense workouts: P90X Stretch.
The program is advertised to transform your body in 90 days and consists of 12 super-charged, super-intense workouts. It is designed to take you from a beginner level to an advanced level of overall body fitness. Many people have had fabulous results with the P90X program, so I thought the P90X Stretch was a great place to start.
First of all, it is about a 60 minute stretching routine, but worth every minute. P90X Stretch is a comprehensive stretching routine designed to hit every muscle from neck to ankle. The video takes you through very simple and step-by-step instructions with a heavy emphasis on breathing. Breathing is a major part in all yoga routines and it is not skipped here either.
“Stretching is the one thing that will help you achieve a higher level of athleticism over a longer period of time. The X Stretch routine is an integral part of the program that will help prevent injuries and avoid plateaus. The extensive full-body stretches that make up this routine use disciplines from Kenpo karate, hatha yoga, and various sports to ensure that your body is fully prepared to meet all P90X challenges head-on.” Tony Horton, P90X creator.
P90X Stretching Routine
Although this is the “easiest” of the 12 workout programs in the P90X set, it is far from a walk in the park. Tony takes you through each stretch with a calm voice and he invokes a peaceful state of mind throughout the stretching routine. At the end of the DVD I felt great; I was relaxed and invigorated.
The P90X program is intense to say the least. According to Tony, X in P90X stands for extreme. There are modifications throughout the entire workout to accommodate the beginners like me as well as the advanced students with phenomenal flexibility. This is a handy component of the program so that you can use these modifications when you are just starting out and then gradually work into the variations as you become more flexible.
Implementing a stretching routine into your training will improve your performance in any sport. Tennis requires cat-like reflexes with short bursts of strength and speed. These short movements may not allow the muscles to extend their full length. When muscles are strenuously worked they become tight and can lose their elasticity unless properly stretched. Yoga exercises can increase the body’s range of motion and restore the elasticity of the muscles. Without muscle elasticity you will not be able to perform at your highest potential. A solid stretching routine can give you that edge on the court.
Using yoga techniques makes it possible to retrain the muscles so they learn that it is acceptable to go beyond their normal limits. Most tennis athletes play in a constant state of muscle tension. Yoga trains the body to relax muscle tension. Learning to begin your game in a relaxed state could mean gaining an extra step on the ball.
Yoga breathing exercises can help improve endurance and stamina. When exerting in sports or exercise we often hold our breath as a way to create strength. Yoga trains the body to create strength through breathing control. Holding your breath at points of exertion takes a great deal of energy that could be used during long sets or matches.
It is simple to learn the correct breathing form while doing a yoga pose. Exhale during the execution of a pose until you feel the muscles’ full length of stretch (maximum resistance). Never hold your breath. Breathe normally and listen to your body. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, and then release the pose slowly. With continued practice of yoga poses you’ll soon be able to apply breathing techniques in everyday routines.
The Spine Twist
One yoga stretch that is great for tennis players is the simple spine twist. Adding this to your stretching routine is excellent, especially for rotational sports. It can help increase flexibility of the shoulders, back and hips. Remember to apply the breathing technique to this pose. This stretch will help you maintain sideways mobility of your spine. It is easier to watch this one rather than to try to explain
Mind & Body
The physical benefits of yoga, like increased strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility, help tennis players meet the demands of the game. Your body is constantly being thrown out of balance while playing tennis. Your elbow and wrist take a beating along with your knees, calves, and ankles. As you lunge for passing shots and during the serve your back get twisted and jerked. Anyone who has played knows that tennis is very hard on your body. Adding a stretching routine to your training can help restore the balance and flexibility of your muscles.
Try these yoga poses to increase your flexibility and give you the edge on the court.
1. Tree pose (vrksasana) to strengthen the legs, open the hips, and improve balance and coordination.
2. Triangle pose (trikonasana) to strengthen and stretch the hamstrings, open the chest, and promote balance.
3. Warrior II pose (virabhadrasana II) to strengthen quads, calves, and Achilles’ tendons; expand range of motion; and teach you to move from the hips.
A total body conditioning and flexibility stretching routine is essential for the avid tennis player. Yoga techniques could be the edge you need in developing your game. Yoga can improve your game on many levels, most notably working on your flexibility, power, balance, injury prevention and mind control, all which will improve your tennis game and overall well-being.