Yoga is a great complement to weightlifting because it can help you build muscle, improve your balance, and release tension in the body. This article will outline five reasons why yoga is a good complement to weightlifting.
Yoga is a good complement to weightlifting because it strengthens the muscles and stretches them. It also helps you gain flexibility, which can be helpful for weightlifters. Read more in detail here: yoga body vs weightlifting body.
Yoga, an ancient relaxation technique, is now widespread and ubiquitous. Today there are still people who believe that yoga is only for people on a spiritual quest, but most gyms and studios incorporate yoga into their daily schedule.
Yoga can actually be a very important part of your workout. When combined with weightlifting, yoga is an additional way to increase endurance and strength and improve posture, balance and agility. It optimizes your physical performance, and the meditative side of yoga promotes your inner stability and mental balance.
For anyone involved in sports, yoga is a great way to achieve a positive transformation, both mentally and physically. Here’s how yoga can affect your weight lifting routine.
1. Flexibility and mobility
Have you ever heard of an agonistic and antagonistic muscle group? The agonist muscles are the muscles that cause a particular movement, while the antagonist muscles counteract it by controlling the movement, slowing it down and returning the limb to its original position.
Good coordination and flexibility of these muscles is important to increase strength. If your antagonistic muscles are weak, your flexibility and speed of movement will be limited. If you’re squeezing your muscles especially on the bench, you’ll have a harder time doing pull-ups. This means your lats (the back muscles behind your arm) and your chest are fighting each other during the pull.
In this case, the antagonistic muscles are not flexible enough. So when you do yoga to improve flexibility and mobility, the connection between the brain and the muscles is improved, so the muscles don’t compete with each other when you lift weights.
Weight lifters cannot achieve the flexibility of yoga because of their muscle mass, but the flexibility of the average person is more than sufficient for proper body and muscle development.
2. Improving connectivity
There is a constant flow of nerve signals between our brain and our muscles that allows us to perform simple body movements at will. Yoga improves the level of interpretation of and response to these nerve signals, resulting in smoother body movements, improved reflexes and faster adaptation to unexpected and sudden situations.
For example, if you incorporate pull-ups into your yoga classes, you’ll strengthen your hips and back, which reduces the risk of injury, even in simple activities like bending down to pick something up or tying your shoes.
3. Muscle recovery
Did you know that your muscles don’t grow during your workout, they grow after? Because weightlifting is a strenuous physical activity, your muscles must go through a recovery process after a workout, and this is when muscle growth occurs.
Yoga is great for relaxing the body and helping you recover from your workout. Restorative yoga involves slow, easy, gentle and relaxing poses, which is especially important for the lifter’s arms, shoulders and back. The postures are done lightly and slowly, because you don’t want to strain your body even more, you want to relax. Otherwise, injuries are inevitable.
4. Aggression management
A good supply of protein and carbohydrates is essential for vigorous weight training. This, combined with an adjustment before each workout, will result in higher testosterone levels.
According to the publication Effects of Testosterone on Human Aggression (1991) there is a clear link between testosterone and aggression, and higher testosterone levels have been found in groups of adults selected for high levels of aggression.
When you achieve mental stability through yoga and learn proper breathing techniques, you will notice how relaxed you feel during and at the end of your workout.
5. Yogic diet with weight lifting
In addition to the protein-rich foods you eat before a vigorous strength training session, the yogic diet can also be good for you in many ways.
The yoga diet recommends eating alkaline foods that reduce acidity in the body, improve circulation and strengthen the heart. Limit your intake of processed sugars (unnecessary extra carbohydrates) and add herbs like ashwagandha, boswellia, coriander and ginger to your diet. These herbs have immune, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They are an excellent natural remedy for pain, are good for the respiratory system, enhance memory and improve brain function.
The most important part of a yogi’s diet is good fats, which are one of the three main sources of energy (along with protein and carbohydrates). Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are easily digested and provide extra energy for your weight training program.
Think of yoga as a pre- and post-workout exercise. It is the perfect complement to strength training because it makes you more flexible, calm, balanced and physically and mentally stable. It improves physical and mental health, increases endurance, reduces annoying muscle pain after a long run, promotes muscle recovery and makes you a quick thinker.
The yoga and weightlifting reddit is a post that discusses the benefits of yoga for weightlifters. It also includes 5 reasons why yoga is a good complement to weightlifting.