Change Up Your Strength Training With Yoga

Change Up Your Strength Training With Yoga

Yoga is a fun, powerful activity that helps with both physical and emotional well-being both in and outside of the gym. Learning how to incorporate this into your strength training routine will not only help you stick with your workout routine, but it will also help you take your workouts up a notch by gaining more muscle mass and toning your body.

Benefits of Adding Yoga to Strength Training

  1. Better Strength and Balance And Builds Muscle

When you add yoga to your strength routine, you will be helping to build muscle and increasing flexibility. This will help with gaining strength and balance as well as endurance, which is crucial for all athletes. This is especially important for new mothers who are returning to the gym after taking time off during pregnancy.

  1. Helps You To Stick with Your Workout

Yoga is an excellent way to add in more quality time with your family and friends. This can help you to keep your workout regime by making it more enjoyable to spend time doing something you love. Yoga also teaches you how to breathe properly and focuses on the mind-body connection, which can help if you are struggling with sticking with your strength training workout.

  1. Helps to Increase the Flow of Energy

One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga is that it helps to promote the flow of energy through your body. This can help you to feel more energized and less stressed, especially when you are in a new exercise routine. Yoga is also a great way to de-stress after a long day at work and helps to relax your muscles (see our yoga poses for stress relief). This can help with building muscle and increasing flexibility, so you will start feeling better about yourself physically and mentally as well as enjoying your daily workout routine with yoga.

How to Incorporate Yoga into Your Strength Training

Warm Up – Before you start your strength training, you should always warm up. This is crucial for preventing injury, increasing flexibility and getting your blood pumping. Before you start any of your yoga poses, go through a few basic stretches as well as some sun salutations to get you in the mood for working out and help warm up your muscles.

To help get you started, here are five yoga moves that make for great strength-training exercises:

Up Dog

This is a challenging pose that targets core muscles and back muscles. To get into this position, lie flat on your stomach with your legs stretched out behind you. Your arms should be stretched out in front of you for balance. Then, using your core muscles and back muscles, push yourself up into a hand stand with your legs together. This exercise targets the back and core muscles as well as the upper body.

Up Dog Pose

Down Dog

This yoga exercise, which is really just a variation of an Up Dog, also focuses on back and core muscles and is a little harder than an Up Dog because the legs are at a different angle. To do this pose, get down on all fours again. Then raise your right arm straight up and your left leg until they are at the same angle as the floor. Ensure that they remain parallel to one another while balancing in this position. The Down Dog targets back muscles more than the Up Dog does.

The Plank

A plank is a great exercise for the core muscles, especially the obliques. To start this pose, begin in a push up position. Then, to find your balance in this position, raise your left hand off the ground and straighten it out so that it is parallel to your shoulders and clasp your fingers together. Remain in this position as you build up the strength to hold it for thirty seconds per side.

Plank Pose

Warrior Pose

Warrior poses are great for the quadriceps and calves and help with balance as well. They also make a good warm up exercise, so they can be practiced before you do any of your leg workouts.

To do this exercise, stand upright with your hands on your hips. Then, squat down slightly (don’t let your knees go over 90 degrees) and put your right foot out to the side in a wide “V” shape. Make sure that the left heel is up towards your back and the toes are facing down. Hold for about a minute and then repeat on the other side. When you first start out, this might be hard to hold for long because the muscles in your legs will be tired after doing a workout. But as you get stronger, you can hold this pose longer.

Warrior Pose

The Warrior II

This pose works well with or without weights, though holding dumbbells will make it even more challenging. The only difference between the Warrior I and Warrior II pose is that in the II, you will have your hands on your hips and then raise the dumbbells straight up above your shoulders. The arms and shoulders should be parallel to the ground.

The Crane

This pose is one of my personal favorites because it’s a great leg-stretching exercise. It is also challenging because it requires a lot of balance. To begin, sit on the floor, legs extended out in front of you and bend forward from the hips with your arms straight out in front of you, hands flat on the ground. Your chin should be down close to your chest and you should be looking behind you. Stay for about five minutes in this pose to stretch out your quads and decompress your spine.

Conclusion

Yoga is a wonderful way to increase strength and flexibility. Yoga isn’t for everyone, but it can help you get your workout in by targeting parts of the body that are often neglected. It will help you avoid getting overworked muscles, and should you start to feel achy from your workouts, yoga is a great way to relieve that pain quickly.