Yoga and strength training is an ideal fitness solution. Today we are going to explore the benefits of yoga and how it can compliment your strength training, improve flexibility and prevent injury. Plus four simple yoga poses that can get you started if you are just beginning a practice.
I consider myself a yoga novice. I absolutely love going to classes, and hope to eventually dive deeper into an even more engaged practice. That’s why I was thrilled when Jill Conyers offered to share her knowledge and expertise on yoga with the readers here at The Bikini Experiment. I am a huge fan of her blog and find the fitness, health and nutrition she provides to be excellent. It’s a joy to read and I definitely recommend you head over to her site to have a look for yourself!
Yoga and Strength Training is the Ideal Fitness Solution
I started Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in January and the year began with yoga and rarely anything other than yoga. Fast forward 3 months and I realized how much yoga complements a balanced strength training plan.
Thank you Lauren for having me as a guest. I’m always happy to share my passion for working with clients as a personal trainer and a [soon to be] yoga teacher. Combining both types of exercise gives you the best of both worlds.
Incorporating yoga into a strength training plan improves your core, giving you overall body strength in specific targeted muscle groups. It also increases flexibility, stability and mobility allowing greater range of motion. Most importantly, a regular yoga practice will help prevent injuries. The combination of yoga and strength training helps develop both slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers which are both important for overall health, fitness and performance.
A look at the benefits of yoga and strength training and it’s clear they’re complementary.
Strength training can make you feel stronger, look better and have increased endurance. Yoga, can make you feel strong and more centered and you’re better able to surrender to what your body is telling you during strength training rather than you just telling it what to do. Slowing down in yoga’s present moment awareness and silence teaches you to perform from a place of presence rather than going through strength training exercises on autopilot which is often when injuries occur.
Yoga works all muscles including the smaller, intrinsic muscles, which can easily be neglected by strength training. As a result not only is a healthy posture developed, the small muscles help support balance, joint alignment and muscle balance.
Yoga complements strength training programs as a form of stretching, flexibility training, and de-stressing. It increases focus which can help isolate muscles to better enable you to reach your goals and your fullest potential.
My home practice began with very basic poses and sequences. Below are 4 of those poses. They might not seem like much at first glance, but once you connect these poses with the big picture of what yoga is, they can lead you on an incredible journey.
Benefits: strengthens lower back and abdominal muscles, lengthens the spine, helps with deep breathing, focus and balance
Low Lunge with Quad Stretch
Benefits: deep hip and groin opener, stretches the back leg’s hip flexors and quadriceps, can help sciatica, increases flexibility and mobility in the hips, psoas, quadriceps, and groin
Benefits: strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles, stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders, stimulates abdominal organs,increases stamina, relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of pregnancy, therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, osteoporosis, and sciatica
Benefits: invigoriates and energizes, tones the entire body, especially the abdomen, strengthens the legs, ankles, shoulders and back, better posture, improves memory and concentration
Whether your fitness of choice is strength training, yoga, or running, the most important thing is to find a way to work with your body that makes it stronger and more flexible. Integrating mindfulness and stillness into the practice is a no-fail bonus for the body, mind and spirit.
Take time to explore and find something you really enjoy, so, ultimately it can become a lifelong habit.
My workout plans typically include strength training with weights 2 times a week, cardio training two times a week (or a combination of both with HIIT workouts) and yoga 4-5 times a week. There are often times when all I want to do is yoga, but incorporating balanced fitness is beneficial to my yoga practice and that’s all the motivation I need to keep fitness balanced.
Ready to give yoga a try?
I would love to chat.
How do you balance your workouts? What workouts do you incorporate into your week? Have you ever practiced yoga?
Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. I’m happy to talk fitness, especially yoga, anytime.
be the best version of YOU
Jill is the the writer, photographer, food stylist, recipe creator and blogger behind Jill Conyers | Fitness Health and Happiness. As a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and soon to be YTT200 yoga instructor, Jill shares her knowledge and passion for whole living, finding balance and empowering others to be their healthiest happiest selves
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