Yoga comes with many hidden benefits apart from the spiritual and stretching aspects. It is a great way to improve your weightlifting program. Weightlifting can be tough on the body as you rip muscles in order to develop them more. The lifting itself can cause problems with tightness in the hamstrings and the back. Shoulders can become too tight which can pull on other muscles within the body. In a way, it’s a complex practice that should be well supported by the likes of a yoga practice.
You avoid injury as yoga stretches out muscles, giving you greater flexibility. Yoga also promotes greater mobility which is important for the joints when weightlifting. Yoga is a gentle practice that can be done prior to weightlifting. You can also do it in between the days you don’t muscle build as it’s important to give the body rest anyway. You should always do some sort of stretching prior to pumping weights so why not try yoga? Here are five reasons you should.
1. Core Development
Yoga has some excellent poses and breathing exercises that develop your core deep down. It’s important to have a strong core when you lift weights as this is where you want that power to come from. A strong core is going to protect the body and make you generally stronger. You not only ensure your back doesn’t become injured but you also gain more strength for lifting. Yoga might seem gentle but certain poses and breath work seriously target the core. The exercises don’t put your back in jeopardy either as they only target the core.
2. Increases Awareness
The awareness that yoga gives you will allow you to gauge whether you have the strength to do certain things on any given day. Our strength, agility, and willingness are ever changing. Many times, when we step into the gym, there are things we feel we must do. It’s okay to have a down day and honor your body. This can help you alleviate injuries. First, you have to know how to listen to it. With yoga, you become more self-aware. This can also make you enjoy your workout more. The conscious lifting of the weights will help you enjoy the process. You may become aware of how amazing your body is for being able to develop the way it is. This can be huge for your motivation.
3. Increases Energy
There are yoga poses that involve twisting and arching the upper torso, which is why it’s so good for your spine health. It’s also good for massaging all the abdominal organs. If you’ve experienced stress or eat something unhealthy, bodily fluids or blood can become stagnant in some organs. When they are massaged through specific yoga poses, you release those toxins and create a more optimised body in general. Yoga helps your metabolism increase by promoting digestive health. Through the twisting of the upper body, organs have the opportunity to detoxify. Your body will burn more calories and make good use of the vitamins and minerals you feed it.
4. Greater Mobility
Even the gentlest of yoga stretches are going to help with mobility. Mobility is important for weightlifting. It is more of a full body approach than stretching. With every part of the body having a connection to each other, if there is one area that isn’t in alignment, doesn’t have strength, or flexibility, a weightlifting challenge can’t be maximised. You’re not able to stack your body on top properly. One area may have to compensate for another. You may overextend a part of your body. You don’t have maximum strength and you’re more prone to injury. Mobility is your range of motion. It is also forming your movement. When you have greater mobility, you’re more stable and you have more balance and strength.
5. Prevents Injury
When you stretch, it lengthens and shortens tight muscles. You’re less likely to become injured when muscles are relaxed and stretched out. The body is more prone to work together in a harmonious way because tight muscles aren’t causing other muscles to compensate. Yoga poses will stretch out the hips, hamstrings, glutes, core, back, and shoulders.
Yoga is a great way to ensure that you maximise your workouts. It makes it safer for you to lift heavy weights. Your body becomes more balanced. The conscious breathing will help you during moments you’re utilising maximum power. The flexibility you gain will help ease any pain you experience from muscle development. Your recovery time will be less so you can develop more quickly. You’ll have a stronger core which protects the back. You’ll also experience a greater work out if you learn the aspects of mindfulness that yoga teaches you. Try some basic yoga poses daily or find the best yoga classes and see how your weightlifting regime improves.