There’s an unspoken rule in most gyms: body builders and strength trainers stay with the weights on one side of the gym, yogis and their mats stay in a quiet room on the other side of the gym. It’s the fitness version of West Side Story, but it shouldn’t be. The reality is that yoga practice and weight training can—and probably should—be complimentary.
Yoga and other body-weight bearing workouts, like Pilates, are excellent toning tools. “Yoga can be just as effective as weights when it comes to building a stronger, more impressive physique,” says Nicholas DiNubile, M.D. But because you're limited to “lifting” your own body weight, it may take a lot more skill, time, and determination to reach your goals than it would with lifting weights. So for the average person with limited gym time, it’s best to combine yoga practice with strength training that utilizes weights and resistance.
And that goes both ways. Yoga has some distinct benefits from traditional strength training that can improve the overall health and wellness of those who’ve been sticking to the weight room.
- Yoga reduces injury risk. A functional form of fitness, yoga conditions your body to perform better at the things you have to do every day.
- Yoga increases muscle endurance. You typically hold any given pose for a period of time and repeat it several times during a yoga workout.
- Yoga offers muscle development without muscle bulk. Yoga relies on eccentric contraction, where the muscle stretches as it contracts, giving the muscles that sleek, elongated look while increasing flexibility in the muscles and joints.
- Yoga tones muscles all over your body. Weight training exercises typically isolate and flex one muscle or muscle group at a time. So adding yoga to your strength training routine helps you maintain balance.
Plus, anyone who wants to learn more about yoga or improve their practice can benefit from our upcoming yoga workshop. Click the link to sign up today!