7 Benefits of Yoga for Weightlifters

weight lifting

Like weightlifting, yoga has been around for centuries. But, it’s rare to find lifters engaging in yoga. Some do not consider performing yoga because they feel it’s worlds apart from weightlifting.

However, by not indulging in yoga, lifters neglect a vital aspect of their fitness: flexibility or mobility. Performing a full range of motion is crucial to maximizing the benefits of weightlifting and preventing injuries.

Yoga primarily focuses on stretching, which helps to keep the muscles limber, promoting muscle recovery and development. This makes yoga vital to weightlifters.

In this article, we will explain the benefits of yoga for weightlifters.

1. Enhances flexibility

By stretching your body during yoga, yoga increases the range of motion in muscles and joints. This increases flexibility and promotes a thorough muscle-building program.

Flexibility helps in performing exercises with proper form and reduces the risk of injuries. For example, flexible shoulders helps in performing different upper body exercises with a high degree of precision. Likewise, a flexible hip joint aids you to execute deep squats.

2. Building Stamina

Performing static yoga for longer hours can help elongate the contraction of the muscles. This improves muscular endurance.

However, executing yoga-style contraction poses are effective in preparing the muscles for the next weightlifting set. In addition, yoga promotes the flow of oxygen in the muscles.

3. Revives tired and stressed muscles

Continuous weightlifting training can put a strain on the muscle, and will affect the recovery of the muscles. However, yoga can aid in eliminating high amount of lactic acids from the muscles.

Excess lactic acid contributes to muscle soreness and stiffness. Therefore, once lactic acid reduces, soreness and stiffness will also reduce. This improves a follow-up workout.

yoga for weightlifters

Furthermore, yoga stimulates blood flow and the ability of the muscles to draw in more oxygen. This enhances the performance of weightlifting training, promoting an overall increase in strength. Yoga also restores heavily-worked muscles, providing a calming effect.

4. Prevents muscle imbalance

Since most weightlifting exercises involves performing a repeated movement over a certain period, this can lead to muscle imbalance.

Probably because of fatigue or insufficient time allocated for lifting weights, many lifters neglect stretching after working out. This can lead to muscle soreness or injuries.

By stretching all the various muscle groups, yoga minimizes or prevents muscle imbalance. This is because yoga stretches recruits several joints and are performed dynamically.

Some weightlifting workouts can tighten or shorten the muscles, but yoga can help to stretch those muscles.

In addition, yoga acts as a counterbalance to muscles targeted during weightlifting, providing a more thorough and complete workout.

5. Trains the body and mind

Weightlifting primarily focuses on the body and targeting specific muscle groups. While lifting weights, most lifters vibe to loud music, but yoga encourages mindfulness, peace, medication and being mentally present.

Furthermore, yoga provides a more comprehensive positive effect on the body and mind. It helps improve concentration, balance, and muscle recovery.

Many weightlifters generally fail to consider proper breathing when lifting weights. Proper breathing, which is a key part of every yoga routine, can calm down your nerves while working out. Yoga can aid in restoring lost energy, combat stress and anxiety, and discard toxicity produced by some supplements that promote muscle building.

Practicing yoga improves metabolism by aiding the body’s digestion and retaining crucial nutrients.

6. Improves posture

Many weightlifters ignore posture when lifting weights. However, yoga poses encourages lifters to maintain the proper posture and position, which protects the back and spine. In addition, yoga helps in enhancing mobility in people suffering from low back pain.

Clinical trials analyzing the effects of yoga on chronic low back pain show that yoga may be effective in treating chronic low back pain.

That’s why weightlifters should incorporate yoga into their workout routine.

7. Improves Performance

Yoga improves performance by targeting various muscles, and enhancing the flexibility and agility of the body. Consistent yoga practice improves muscular strength.

Furthermore, yoga reduces the risk of injuries and muscular soreness/stiffness. This relieves pain, ensuring a smooth and healthy weightlifting program.

To train consistently, the mental health needs to be in top shape. Yoga improves the mental and physical health to keep you prepared and motivated.

A study analyzing the impact of 10-weeks yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes suggest that regular yoga practice may improve the flexibility, balance and whole body measure of athletes. The study also reveals that regular yoga practice may also improve the athletic performances that require characteristics such as flexibility, balance and whole body measures.

Stretching vs. Yoga

Many people regard stretching and yoga as the same thing. But, it’s vital to understand the differences between both of them.

Stretching is more like a ritual for recovery. The objective of stretching for athletes is to enhance the flexibility of tissues. They serve as method to prepare, and recover from physical training.

In contrast, yoga involves incorporating stretching and comes in different forms. Some forms of yoga require more efforts than others. Unlike stretching, the goal of yoga isn’t just to improve flexibility. However, flexibility is among one of benefits of practising yoga.

By trying to hold a pose, yoga initiates a good amount of isometric contraction. This involves contracting a muscle or groups to aid in maintaining your position without pushing or pulling (eccentric and concentric movement). Through contraction, you’re straining the muscles and forcing them to work hard and maintain a position. After releasing that pose, and practice the next one, you’re stretching the other muscles.

For instance, you can indulge in stretching without practicing yoga, but you cannot practice yoga without stretching. Although several forms of yoga incorporates stretching, it isn’t the ultimate goal.

Like everyone else, weightlifters practices yoga for different reasons such as improving flexibility or mobility, calming down the mind and muscles, building muscular endurance and contributing to overall muscular development.

Understanding Which Type Of Yoga And Stretches is Suitable For You

As a weightlifter, you may be tempted to try any yoga pose you see. But, it’s crucial to understand that there are various types of yoga practices. Different kinds of yoga have their own variations and goals.

For instance, some forms of yoga poses may be suitable for those who perform cardio and a lot of running. These forms of yoga will not be beneficial for those who indulge in intense exercises such as weightlifting.

Some forms of yoga poses for weightlifting includes, standing forward fold pose, cobra pose, plank, boat pose and bridge pose.

Conclusion

Incorporating yoga into your weightlifting exercise will impact your body, soul and mind. It will also aid in creating a complete, balanced and healthy workout program.

The benefits of yoga includes enhancing flexibility, building stamina, reviving tired and stressed muscles, preventing muscle imbalance, reducing the risk of injuries and improving performance and posture.

There are several yoga poses that are suitable for weightlifting. You can attend a local yoga class or consult with a yoga instructor. Some examples of yoga postures for weightlifting include downward dog, triangle pose, and boat pose.

When practicing yoga, it’s vital to perform it consistently to get results. It’s not a one-off magical move that produces instant results.