How good is yoga for strength training? You love doing yoga, but you’re considering if you need to do something more than yoga to build up your strength levels. The answer depends on your individual fitness goals.
Yoga and other exercises that use your body weight can be a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles. On the other hand, if you want to look like a bodybuilder, you’re probably going to need to lift weights.
When beginning your strength training program, the risk of getting hurt can be greatly reduced by starting out with machines rather than free weights. As you become more comfortable with the machines, slowly learn to use free weights.
If you want to stick with the machines, know that they will give you the same benefits as free weights. As for the concern that women will look like men, it won’t happen without the help of steroids, which you shouldn’t even consider using.
As you’re planning your workouts, think about how you can use yoga on its own or in combination with other activities. Use these tips to design a routine that will enhance your strength and overall fitness.
Using Yoga for Strength Training:
Different forms of yoga have their own unique benefits so choose a style that’s focused on strength.
Look for Vinyasa and Ashtanga sessions, as well as power yoga classes.
You build strength by gradually intensifying your workouts. That may mean doing a longer series of sun salutations, as well as standing poses and inversions.
Hold poses longer
You can also increase resistance by remaining in a pose for additional seconds or minutes. This type of isometric training is especially useful for maintaining strength and stabilizing joints.
- Check your form. To stay safe, start with basic poses where you can learn correct alignment.
- Use props like straps and blocks if you need them.
- Rest up. Excessive workouts actually weaken your muscles.
- Take at least one day off from vigorous activity each week and make sleep a priority.
- Eat well. Nourish your body with whole foods. In particular, consuming protein within two hours of working out may help build muscles.
Supplementing Yoga for Strength Training
Yoga and Pilates feature many similar movements, and the teachers at your studio may blend the two. It can be a big help with firming up your core.
Try Cross Fit
For endurance and strength, sign up for Cross-fit. This challenging workout will teach you a variety of movements using equipment or just your body weight.
Climb a wall
Indoor climbing facilities have been spreading across the country. It’s a fun way to tone your whole body and maybe prepare for an outdoor expedition.
Train to fight
If you’re already in top shape, you might be ready for boxing or Mixed Martial Arts. It’s one way to make fast gains in upper and lower body strength.
Buy resistance bands
For inexpensive equipment that’s easy to take with you on business trips, order some resistance bands. You can use them to intensify many simple floor exercises for your whole body.
Barbells, dumbbells, and weight machines may be the first thing you think of for strength training, and they deserve their popularity. You can design a program with so much variety that it will maintain your interest and keep giving your body new challenges to overcome.
High intensity interval training will make any routine more effective. That’s where you alternate between short bursts of hard work and slightly longer intervals of gentler activity. It’s also ideal for busy schedules because you can achieve greater results while spending less time at the gym.
Strength training is an important part of working out because it thickens your bones, boosts your metabolism, and may even enhance your mental health.
Schedule at least two strength training sessions a week using yoga or other activities you enjoy and talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about how to design a safe program for you.
Benefits of Strength Training
The benefits of a good strength training program are almost endless. Less disease, happiness and most importantly, showing off your muscles at the beach.
Strength training should be part of everyone’s routine. Even if you are low on time, strength training, according to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), only needs to be done 2-3 times per week with each session lasting no more than one hour. For 2-3 hours per week, huge benefits can be realized.
Regular strength training will
help you in day to day activities around the house and in your yard. It will keep you independent which is especially important in the older population. Imagine not being able to lift a 5 pound bag of flour or take the garbage out by yourself.
- lower the risk of osteoporosis, hypertension and diabetes.
- help you avoid lower back pain.
- Increase bone density which is important for post menopausal women.
- Increase muscle mass which burns more calories throughout the day than an equal amount of fat.
Even with all these benefits, many people are reluctant to start training with weights. Concerns include injury, incorrect form and for women; not wanting to grow muscles and look like a man.
Sometimes when we think of being healthy, we think of eating and running. While these are important, strength training should never be left out.
Strength training provides benefits to your health that cannot be found with any other mode of exercise and shouldn’t be forgotten.
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Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.