As with any workout routine, you need rest and recovery days; however, for some, kicking back with a book or a lazy beach day simply don’t cut it. If you are looking for a recovery program that can help not only the body but the mind too, then yoga is the answer!
Yoga is great for post-workout recovery; it can increase mobility and flexibility in your strength training program. Here is how to add some yoga to your fitness routine without having to sit through an hour-long class!
Combining Relaxation with Resistance
Resistance training functions by creating strengthened bonds in the muscle as they recover and repair micro-tears. To continue training without a break is counter-intuitive and tends to overwork your muscles. There is no strength gained from constantly overworking your body. Recovery times allow those tiny tissue tears to repair, making for stronger and more powerful gains!
The ancient practice of yoga is based on flexibility, stability, and a central nervous system recharge. There is a saying in yoga – You are only as old as your spine is flexible. The practice allows you to tune into your body and find your pain points, allowing you to not pushing beyond that point. This will ensure that your body heals while deepening the flexibility of the muscles and joints.
Benefits of Yoga
If you are a cardio fundi or a strength training fanatic, add some yoga poses to increase mobility post-workout. Yoga and strength training go together like mac and cheese. Both practices can build strength using natural body resistance and flexibility.
With strength training, it is easy to develop strength; by combining yoga you will learn how to self-correct your posture. It creates an awareness of where your body needs to be balanced and re-aligned.
With this knowledge, your weight training will improve. Yoga places emphasis on breathing correctly and building strength through focus. The benefits of breathing correctly will up your endurance game during your strength training.
Is Yoga Resistance Training?
Not all yoga is made the same. The yoga practice is so vast and varied there is something for everyone. Practices such as Ashtanga – the powerhouse of yoga – have been known to build strength and count as resistance training. If you are bored with your usual fitness regime and need some change, try picking up an ashtanga class once a week.
Not only will you up to your flexibility game, but you will also build muscle and cardio fitness. Studies have shown that a 60- minute class can add strength to your leg presses. To fully reap the benefits of strength training in Yoga, there are a few things you can do to get a balanced combination of the two.
Longer holds – Holding your poses for longer will deepen the burn; your body will let you know it works when it starts wobbling.
Weights – Using weights can add to you your body weight and increase your strength training progress. Strap on wrist and ankle weights are an easy addition that works with all poses.
Map it out – Mapping out a yoga sequence can also help you get a full-body workout and add in postures for every muscle group.
Resistance bands – these handy rubber bands can add resistance to areas you want to improve. There are different bands for different purposes, like at https://victoremgear.com.
Resistance Band Yoga
Here are a few resistance band yoga poses that you can add to your cooldowns. For a full workout, add in a few more sets with longer holds.
- Place a booty band on your mid-thighs
- Lie back on your yoga mat, with your knees bent and feet apart to stretch the band
- Raise your hips to the ceiling
- Clench your glutes in and hold for 10 seconds
- Gently lower and release the hold
- Repeat 8 times
- Return your hips to the ground, and allow your back to stabilize
- Place your booty band around your upper arms
- Get into a straight-armed plank, with your toes pointed
- Slowly walk one hand out to the left, walk your legs alongside
- Take 5 steps to the left, then 5 steps to the right
- Repeat for one more set
- Place a band on your thighs, bend forward and stretch your hands to touch the floor
- Step one foot back, then the other
- In Down Dog, slowly bicycle your knees for 10 reps on each leg
- Bring your knees down, and place your buttocks onto your heels
- Sink into a child’s pose for a 10-second rest
- Repeat the sequence for another 2 sets
Down Dog – Kick Back Variation
- Try adding this variation, place your band around your ankles and kick back when in down dog. Reach your leg out straight behind you and hold for 5 seconds. Slowly release your legs back into down dog.
- Rest in child’s pose after every set.
- Sitting on your mat, place your band around your thighs or your calves
- Stretch the band out to create gentle resistance
- Raise your legs; your feet should be raised and off the floor.
- Your body will create a ‘V’ shape to deepen your pose, straighten your legs
- Straighten your arms out in front of you, alongside your raised legs
- Hold for 15 seconds
- Release, lie down and allow your back to release
- Repeat you pose for 2 sets of 15-second holds
Go With the Flow
If you are looking at adding a class to your schedule to build strength, lower stress, and help improve your flexibility, yoga is the one for you. If you are ever in doubt, pop into your local studio and speak to a yoga teacher. They will help you tailor a yoga program to target your needs while building both flexibility and strength.