We often feel like we have to choose between one workout or the other, when, with just a little creativity, we can merge the two together. If done correctly, implementing hybrid workouts into your workout routine can create some awesome benefits.
Specifically, strength training and yoga go hand and hand as both exercises strengthen and stretch our bodies. Incorporating yoga into your workout routine allows the body to stretch the muscles that have just gone through a vigorous strength training workout, while building strength simultaneously helps better our yoga practice.
Yoga and Strength Building: Lower Body
When combining yoga and strength building, it’s important to balance out the two by working on the same section of the body in both workouts. For example, when we lift heavy with our legs, we want to continue using the same muscles in our yoga practice. Strength building yoga poses for the legs can include lunges, warriors and balancing poses like tree pose and chair pose. These strengthen and stretch the muscles giving the legs a full workout with both strength training and flexibility.
Yoga and Strength Building: Upper Body
Our upper body benefits immensely from a combined workout of strength training and yoga. During our yoga practice, we use our upper body, like our shoulders and forearms, to do inversions and arm balances. Building arm muscles by lifting weights can help us with these inversions by creating a better foundation to support our bodies. Yoga positions for upper body strength can include crow pose, eight angle, or dolphin pose.
A yoga practice can also include yoga inversions. Getting upside down not only works the upper body, but it is also a great way to work the abs. There are many benefits of yoga inversions including all around better circulation, getting the blood flowing, boosting energy and—more notable—it is a fantastic workout.
Yoga and Strength Building: Post Workout
After a strength training workout, try immediately practicing different yoga poses while the muscles are worn and ready to be worked. You may find that some of your greatest yoga flows come after lifting weights.
Don’t feel obligated to spend hours doing strength training and yoga in the same day. They can be broken up into increments, like a 40 minute weight workout and a 20 minute yoga practice. You can even do a 50 minute weight workout followed by a 10 minute stretch. If you don’t have time for a full hour, simply cut it down into 10 minute sections and do a hybrid workout of yoga and building muscle at the same time.
By merging yoga and strength training, you are creating a better foundation for your body to support these workouts individually and together. Even if you do hybrid workouts every once in a while, introducing yourself to new and innovative styles of fitness makes for a happy and healthy body.
About the Author
Lesli Lancaster is a Vinyasa style yoga teacher in Fort Worth, Texas who teaches both in studio and online. She’s been married to an awesome man for 11 years and has three wonderful children who she stays home with when she’s not teaching. She is grateful for the opportunity to spend time with her children and teach yoga, which has brought her so much happiness, energy and passion into her life.