Exercising

5 Benefits To Combining Yoga and Strength Training

Have you ever thought about combining yoga and strength training?

While you may be hitting the gym regularly to strengthen and tone your body, you should really think about adding yoga to your fitness plan.

It’s been around forever and for good reason. Yoga boasts a ton of very real, very powerful benefits for both your body and mind.

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Let’s break down all the benefits of hitting the mat and incorporating yoga into your strength training.

BENEFITS TO YOGA AND STRENGTH TRAINING

Mobility

With regular yoga practice, you can increase your range of motion. How does this help you in strength training? Better mobility opens your hips, allowing you to sit deeper in your squats. If you’re working on overhead work, such as pull-ups, better shoulder flexibility will make your training much easier.

Plus, suppleness and mobility make you less prone to injury. If you have tight hips or shoulders, try a few basic poses, such as Down Dog, Warrior, or Pigeon.

Recovery

One good way to combining yoga and strength training, is to use yoga after a particularly tough training session to loosen tight, sore muscles. All that stretchy goodness speeds up your recovery and reduces soreness.

Making yoga a regular part of your routine will keep you fresh and ready to hit your next strength session, and you’re less likely to get injured than if you train with hard, tight muscles.

For optimal recovery, stick to gentle yoga poses that focus on stretching. Also, transition slowly between poses, while listening to your body about what feels good.

Strength

Strength training isn’t the only way to build and train those muscles – yoga incorporates some strength elements as well. Once you get into the more advanced yoga poses, you’ll be engaging a variety of muscles and challenging them in new ways.

Why does yoga and strength training go so well together?

Yoga strengthens your muscles through extended poses, it also strengthens your joints. And as a bonus, moving slowly and holding poses for an extended time builds endurance as well.

Relaxation

Namaste your way to less stress with yoga – it’s the perfect way to create balance in your life with its combination of control and relaxation. Hit the mat regularly to for a reset and release the tension and stress from everyday life.

And remember, with less stress, comes less cortisol (that pesky, fat-inducing hormone that can wreak havoc on our bodies).

To get the most relaxation our of your time on the mat, end each session with the indulgent Corpse Pose – lie on your back, relax, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.

Focus

Mental focus is undeniably important in many aspects of life – including when you hit the gym. Deep concentration and focus bring an awareness of your body and its mechanics as you power through your reps.

Likewise, balanced breathing goes a long way when you’re working on either conditioning or heavy lifting. It calms your mind and keeps you focused on the task at hand.

Yoga can help you conquer both breathing and focus, as these are foundational components of the practice.

Now, that your convinced of all the awesome benefits to combining yoga and strength training, it’s time to roll out your mat and start enjoying all that yoga goodness!