Seven Reasons Yoga is a Perfect Complement to Weightlifting

Most people who lift weights understand the benefit of adding cardio activity to their exercise routines. Over time they have been taught that the human body needs balance, and that their muscles need time in between weightlifting sessions to recover and rebuild. Although most weightlifters probably don’t think about integrating yoga into their workout routine, it -like adding cardio routines – can give their body a welcome break from weightlifting. In addition, yoga is an excellent way for a person to de-stress and get mentally refreshed.

If you are a weightlifter who has thought about adding yoga to your exercise routine, but are still in need of convincing, then take a look at the following seven reasons why this ancient practice can be an excellent complement to your weightlifting sessions.

  1. Yoga Will Increase Your Range of Motion Because weightlifting typically involves repetitive movements that involve a short range of motion, your muscles will eventually tighten and shorten. Over time, your range of motion will also become limited. By doing yoga poses, you can stretch out these tight muscles, which will help you to regain your range of motion and to decrease any stiffness you may have been experiencing.
  2. Yoga Can Help You Mentally During classes, yoga teachers often stress to their students to be kind and forgiving to their bodies and not to beat themselves up if, for some reason, they just can’t perform the poses as well as they feel they should. Yoga instructors also emphasise that a student should concentrate on his own practice and not to be competitive with those around him.These are also excellent principles that you can apply to your weightlifting sessions. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t lift what you did two days ago. Instead, acknowledge that on some days you just aren’t going to be able to perform your best and that there is nothing wrong with this. Attending yoga classes will help remind you of these principles.
  3. Group Activity
    Body building is typically an activity done alone, while yoga is usually a group practice. For weightlifters, who are constantly working out alone, yoga can be a nice way to include a group activity into their workout routine.
  4. Yoga will Give You Balance
    Many yoga poses are all about balancing. Because weightlifting doesn’t really work on developing your balance, integrating yoga into your exercise program can help you in this area. In addition, when you are balancing, you are toning and strengthening the involved muscles, which will also help you when you lift weights.
  5. Shake Up Your Routine
    Humans tend to be creatures of habit. Unfortunately, when you do the same type of exercise every day, your body will eventually reach a plateau where you will either stop losing weight or fail to gain muscle. For that reason, it is important to change your workout routine regularly and keep it varied.A vinyassa yoga class, where practitioners flow from one pose to the next, is an excellent complement to a weightlifting program as it will not only work out your muscles and increase your flexibility but it will also give you a cardio workout as well.
  6. Breathing
    Yoga instructors focus a lot of attention on the breath and remembering to breathe as you move through poses. This practice of focusing on the breath will also help you when you are lifting weights.
  7. Yoga Helps Build a Strong Core
    Having a strong core is very important if you lift weights. Not only does a strong core help you lift, it can also protect you from injuring your lower back and lower extremities. Many yoga poses, such as plank, side plank and warrior III, are excellent for strengthening your core.
Sources:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/expert.q.a/05/01/yoga.strength.training.jampolis/index.html
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/yoga_bodybuilding_benefits.htm
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/betteru23.htm
http://www.mensfitness.com/training/build-muscle/6-recovery-strategies-for-a-workout-aholic
http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/6-yoga-poses-rock-solid-core?page=2
http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/strong-foundations-building-and-maintaining-strong-low-back
http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15615/1/Why-Stretching-Is-Important.html
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