4 Reasons To Combine Yoga And Strength Training In Your Routine
The day I discovered strength training, it became my best friend for growing stronger and building muscle. But growing up in India, I was also introduced to yoga early and always enjoyed practicing it.
Initially, I thought that the two wouldn’t go together and always ended up choosing one over the other. However, I've realized that not only do they go together, but they also complement each other perfectly. Below are five benefits I have experienced by combining the two:
1. Strength and flexibility.
Although yoga is great at building natural strength, for someone looking to put muscle on, strength training is the way to go. In my case, it has only improved my yoga poses.
What's more, yoga is one of the best ways to tone your muscles and develop flexibility.
2. Explosiveness and endurance.
If you do full-body compound lifts at the gym, and lift weights explosively, you activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers. This helps you develop power and speed.
In yoga, by doing the movements slowly and holding poses for a while, you activate slow-twitch muscle fibers, which builds endurance. It's useful to maintain a balance between both these types of muscle fibers, and doing a hybrid training routine enables this.
3. Controlled aggression and relaxation.
One of the things about a good strength-training program that makes use of progressive loading is that you need to get psyched up before each workout. This is because you're lifting heavier weights each time, which helps develop controlled aggression.
4. Workout of the mind, body and soul.
I've tried lots of sports and physical activities, but none of them can match the way I feel calm and peaceful after a yoga workout. The primary reason I do yoga and not just any other exercise is because of the way it nourishes the mind and helps you listen to that quiet voice inside your head, aka your soul. Yoga has also helped me stay energized, increased my self-confidence, and helped get rid of my back pain.
Put it into practice
There are some things to keep in mind before you can dive in and get started.
First of all, if you're new to both yoga and strength training, then I would recommend that you spend a couple of months on one and establish a solid foundation before incorporating the other into your routine.
Second, I strongly recommend you do full-body compound movements (squats, dead lifts, etc.) and body weight exercises (pullups, dips, etc.) at the gym. The reason I recommend this is because these exercises, along with yoga, develop your physique uniformly without causing muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalance is one of the main causes of injuries.
Third, when it comes to yoga, I recommend that you do an authentic style of yoga, such as Iyengar or Ashtanga yoga. The reason I recommend this is because you want to make sure that you get the emotional and psychological benefits of yoga, rather than just a physical workout.
Last, experiment with how you combine the two. Each person has a different body type, goal, recovery time, time constraints, etc. What worked for me may not work for you. And maybe a combination of the two isn't for you after all. Gradually implement the other into your routine and see how your body reacts to it.
So what are you waiting for? Incorporate both these amazing exercises into your routine and get the best of both worlds!
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