NBA Star LeBron James’ Secret to Endurance: Yoga

[ 0 ] June 9, 2011 |

LeBron James and other NBA stars don’t just hit the weights to stay fit – many maintain their agility and fitness with a surprising form of exercise: Yoga

There is no doubting LeBron James’ talent. James will lead the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks next Tuesday, May 31 with whopping averages of 26 points and 9 rebounds per game so far this post-season. But that’s the easy part.

LeBron has been logging over 43 quality minutes per game during the playoffs, making him arguably one of the most well-conditioned professional basketball player in the NBA.

So how does he do it? Yoga.

“Downword dog” and “hero” poses have been part of James’ off-season yoga routine over the past few years. Yoga is known to be able to benefit your sex life, according to sex expert Dr. Marianna Brandon. Founder of Ms. Fitness magazine, Greta Blackburn, also hails yoga as a great complement to your weight-lifting regimen. But while others aren’t convinced of yoga’s benefits, James is a devout beliver in its effects.

“Does it work for everybody? I don’t know,” LeBron recently said. “I’m not a guru about how to be in the best condition — don’t let me sit here and tell you that. But it works for me.”

NBA teams are embracing yoga. And the payoff is in their players. The Atlanta Hawks, Denver Nuggets and LA Clippers have all hired yoga teachers in the pre- and post-seasons to help with injury prevention, flexibility and athleticism.

“Yoga helps center you, especially for what we do,” LA Clippers guard Baron Davis told Slam earlier this year. “If you can find a place that keeps you centered, both mentally and physically, it can help push your game to the next level.”

So it seems that LeBron is not alone. Other NBA greats like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’ Neal also swear by the benefits of yoga. (Shaq even had to special-order 100-inch yoga mats to span his huge frame!) Even other sports athletes like NY Giants football players Amani Toomer, Shaun O’Hara and Kevin Boss hit the yoga mat to prevent injuries increase range of motion.

In addition to yoga, sports teams are investigating alternative ways to keep athletes at the top of their game, including swimming and even acupuncture.

Are you a big believer in yoga? What does it help you with the most? Fitness? Stress?

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Category: Health, Mind Body Connections, Stress Management, Views on the News, Weight Loss

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