Many equate “strength training” with bench presses, dumbbells, and weight machines.
But if at some point you have had sore muscles after a yoga session, maybe you have wondered if you can just do yoga instead.
Many yoga practitioners are toned, as if they had gone to the gym and had gained weight.
And that’s right: your own body weight. Simply, yoga poses require positions and orientations that engage our muscles.
And let’s accept it, we all know that strength training of any kind has obvious benefits, such as developing muscle mass, losing fat, improving metabolism and increasing bone density.
Yoga for strength
Yoga from the east does not emphasize how yoga can sculpt the body, but focuses on the mind-body connection and developing strength.
Originally, yoga was a way of life and being, rather than a way to look better in clothes.
Yoga is the original form of mind-body conditioning.
However, when I look at a body typically sculpted by yoga, I cannot help but admire its physique.
“Yoga can be as effective as weights when it comes to developing a stronger and more impressive physique”
Experts agree that whether or not yoga may be your only form of strength training depends on your goals.
“If all you’re looking to do is build muscle, weight training is the most practical approach”
In fact, the American Exercise Council defines strength training as “exercising with a progressively heavier resistance for the purpose of strengthening the skeletal muscle system.
The progressively heavier resistance means that your muscles and bones must be overloaded to continue to develop.
With weight training, your muscles adapt to resistance and become stronger, with a weight can no longer be a challenge.
Then you have to add more resistance / weight to achieve higher results as time progresses.
The force that develops through yoga does not work exactly that way and is more of a functional force.
But what happens if we combine the two? Natural power with functional agility.
Combining yoga and strength training
If you’re looking to maximize your time in the gym, consider doing a hybrid yoga practice with weights.
Many gyms offer body-sculpting yoga classes that start with 1 to 5-pound weights to build strength while holding complementary postures.
You must definitely master the basics of yoga before bringing weights to the mix, but the two practices work surprisingly well together.
Also, try doing yoga as a warm-up before aerobic exercise or as a cooling off after going for a run.
It is an incredibly versatile practice that can be easily incorporated into what you are already doing for your body.
Yoga increases muscular endurance, because you typically hold a given posture and repeat it several times during a workout.
This can add another dimension to your strength in general.
By holding positions longer, doing more repetitions, and learning new postures, yoga can become more challenging.
Before you try advanced postures like arm balances, start with the basics, use a yoga DVD, or check out videos online.
The best of both worlds is to practice yoga and weight training.
But if you do not like lifting weights, you can use your body weight (push-ups, squats, etc.)
Strength training with mindfulness is another option to consider. Many studies have shown that the more variety there is in your routine, the faster you will see results.
The strength training yoga, along with martial arts and Cross Fit offer the traditional strength training more functional strength.
You can definitely become stronger when practicing yoga but strength training with heavy weights offers its own unique benefits.
The good thing is that we do not have to choose, we can combine yoga and strength training to obtain even more benefits.
The most important thing is to find a way to work with your body that makes it stronger and more flexible.
And for an extra credit, it integrates mindfulness into practice for a good measure.
For some, they are martial arts, for others, strength training with mindfulness or yoga.
Take your time to explore and find something you really enjoy, so it can become a long-term habit.