I am going to go out on a limb here and say that most people who get into weight lifting, don’t even bother to look at doing yoga. Unless you’re following a P90x routine or some other packaged “get ripped in “X” amount of days”, program that has included yoga training into one of its’ scheduled training days. Am I right, or am I right?
But with all that talk, you’re probably wondering why I am even speaking about it in the first place. Well, the thing is, yoga can be a very good form of exercise that you can incorporate into your routine to help with preventing injuries or treating them, along with many other benefits to improving your weight training sessions. I say this because, as I have always been mentioning over and over again throughout my blog, in one form or another; training can easily lead to injuries. The fact that we’re pushing our bodies constantly, and trying to break past barriers that we constantly come across, injuries can become inevitable. Due to this reality, we have to find ways to combat these injuries so that we can keep working out with the same intensity.
For example, if one suffers from sciatica, there are various yoga poses you can find on You Tube, that can help you ease that pain. This will then allow you to continue training, without issues.
Not only can it help with treating certain injuries, it can actually be used to prevent injuries because when the surrounding tissues and the muscles are lengthened and relaxed, during a yoga pose, this helps to increase the flow of blood. This in turn increases the supply of more oxygen to that area, which helps with recovery and repair, so that your muscles can be more effective for your next workout session. I mean, who doesn’t want that?
Aside from recovery and injury prevention, it can help increase your endurance when performing explosive compound lifts in the gym. Example, squats, deadlifts, barbell bench press, etc. These exercises can be improved by increasing your explosiveness which is very beneficial towards building muscles while also keeping body fat down, because yoga targets your slow twitch muscle fibers which are related to endurance. By performing yoga exercises and regular weight lifting exercises, you are targeting your fast switch muscle fibers (with the weight lifting), and as aforementioned, your slow twitched muscle fibers (with the yoga), which will keep you nice and balanced.
At the end of the day, yoga poses are more effective than regular static stretching because it incorporates a full muscle group, instead of an isolated muscle group. It also helps increase natural strength, it helps with relaxation, and with improving body-mind connection. The overall balance that yoga provides, is one of the best benefits as this yet again, will decrease injuries. Remember, as I have mentioned before, most injuries come from muscle imbalance.
I would incorporate at least 1 day out of your week, where you are doing at least 30 minutes of yoga poses, to help with muscle repair and recovery, and to keep you flexible for your lifting. You can find a lot of yoga videos on You Tube, so get to searching!