Trifocus Fitness Academy - yoga

How to combine yoga and strength training to attain any fitness goals

The term ‘’yoga’’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘’yuj’’ which means to bind or join. This pretty much sums up what yoga is: It is the process of bringing about harmony within oneself as well as your environment. It is about finding balance and bringing everything together as one.

While yoga is about finding balance in your day to day life, it is also about finding balance in your workout routine and using this balance to reach your goals.

At first glance, yoga appears to be a bunch of poses put together to help you become more zen. This perspective will quickly change once you have taken your first yoga class.

So, how can you pair yoga with your strength training?

Flexibility and exercise

Research has found that hot yoga can be very beneficial for runners, cyclists, weightlifters and Crossfitters. The heat assists in expediting flexibility and counteracting the muscle resistance brought on by other workouts.

Improve your posture

Forms of yoga that have a strong emphasis on alignment and precision, such as Iyengar yoga, work great for runners and cyclists as it focuses on your posture as well as improving cardiovascular activity. It is also good for helping with balance – making it ideal for golfers as well.

Joint health

High-energy workouts such as running, cycling and CrossFit can damage your joints owing to the high impact from exercising. Yin yoga is great for helping connective tissues, fascia, and joints as it is done sitting or lying down and requires very little muscular effort.

Improve your endurance

Get your heart pumping with a rhythmic, cardio-intensive Vinyasa yoga class. This is great for people doing weightlifting workouts as the added cardio is beneficial to improving lung capacity and overall endurance and stamina.

Build muscle

Yoga is a bodyweight exercise, and this means that you need to be able to hold your own bodyweight – this will improve your arm and core strength. Ashtanga yoga is a great addition to any workout routine. Research has found that this form of yoga improves not only the upper body and core strength but also the strength in your lower body – the legs.

Wind down

After an intense HIIT training session, it is important to slow down and relax. Restorative yoga allows the body and muscles to relax and expand. It allows your body to recover and acts as a great stretching exercise.

How to amplify your strength training with yoga

  • Hold the poses for longer to get more out of your workout.
  • Repeat your poses to get more strength training in.
  • Add weight to your workout – ankle and wrist weights will help you develop more strength.
  • Modify your poses to increase the difficulty level.

Yoga may not be sufficient enough for all in terms of strength training but is still a great addition to any workout. By including yoga in your training programme, you can build strength and flexibility without putting a damper on your progress.

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