When most people think about how they’re going to reach their next weight lifting goal yoga would be one of the last things to come to mind. Turns out it should be one of the first ideas to consider. In celebration of national yoga day (6/21) we’re sharing some of the incredible upsides to adding yoga to your routine and how it can help you at the gym.
1. It’s Great For Muscle Recovery
After training it’s important for your muscles to be given the time and activity that best allows them to recover. Yoga is a great post-workout rehabilitation for your muscles as it gently stretches out your body without adding strain. It’s great for helping to relax your back, arms, and shoulders after an intense workout.
2. Yoga Boosts Flexibility and Mobility
Your body has a balance of agonist and antagonist muscles. These muscles are counter balances to each other, but if one gets too tense, it limits the movement (and therefore strength) of the other. As weightlifting consists of repetitive short movements it tends to tighten and shorten muscles. Yoga helps to break down this tension and prevents your muscles from working against each other. A better range of motion also helps prevent injuries.
3. Improve Your Form
Ever find yourself holding your breath mid-lift? One of the main things you focus on in yoga is your breathing. Learning how to control your breathing while manipulating your body can help you breath more consistently during your workout, thus improving your form. Yoga also increases your overall lung capacity and circulation.
4. Yoga Also Tones Muscle
Many people get the impression that yoga is a passive activity. Each pose actually targets specific muscle groups helping to tone. This can also help work out underused muscles that you do not typically target.
5. Improve Heart Health
Yoga is great for lowering blood pressure and flushing your lymphatic system promoting healthy heart function. Slowing your heart rate and removing toxins from your blood alleviates some of the strain on your heart during your intense workouts.
While intuitively it seemed that weight lifting and yoga were two completely different areas of health and fitness; in reality they are very complementary in achieving your goals. These two work so well together there is even a new style that includes weight training, Iron Yoga.