Yoga For Weightlifters:
Yoga is very multidimensional, even when it comes to yoga for weightlifters. Oftentimes, practiced by individuals looking to achieve flexibility, yoga can be much more. For example, tailored, can focus on strength building, balance, endurance, and as a way to challenge the mind.
Yoga can be multipurposed, and used for many different crafts. Whether a relative novice to exercise, a full-blown athlete, or advanced exercise enthusiasts, yoga can offer something for everyone.
Upon this Yoga for Sports Series journey, we have talked about how yoga can benefit anyone from runners, to baseball players, even rowers to build strength, stretch and endurance. In this article, we’ll explore some of the benefits of yoga for weightlifters or bodybuilders.
Let’s first talk endurance. Endurance can be both physical and mental. Indeed in bodybuilding you need both. In bodybuilding, several aspects are vital to growth and endurance. One must keep muscles engaged in activation for as long as possible. Thus allowing the pumping of blood into the area of concentration. However, it also takes endurance from the mental perspective. Applying oneself in this type of daily training, requires intense focus and concentration, both for everyday sessions, but for the long haul.
Yoga is wonderful because it adds to the ability for many to increase there aerobic and anaerobic endurance. Simply meaning, we can workout for increasing periods of time. In fact, weightlifters may confess, it’s more about your mental prep and intrinsic motivation, then the physical aspects.
However, physically, the longer you are able to workout at top intensity, the more improvements you’ll make within your body, as it relates to bodybuilding. Now this goes without saying, you must get proper sleep and nutrition as well.
Harvard Health posted an article discussing research on yoga and muscle endurance. The study involved sedentary individuals whom underwent 8-weeks of yoga, 2 times a week. After the study, participants had greater muscle strength and endurance. Furthermore, were gains in flexibility and cardio-respiratory fitness.
Find more about this particular study here!
Another study conducted included male college athletes for a 10-week long yoga practice. In conclusion, found yoga capable of increasing “whole body measures”.
Are we here telling you yoga is going to “build huge muscles”. No we’re not at all. However, what yoga may prepare you for is the challenging mental part of weightlifting or bodybuilding. Consequently, helping you stay more engaged in specific exercises, for longer periods of time.
According to an article posted on Yoga Journal, yoga can help improve your endurance because it increases stamina. This is the concept we’re trying to get at, and they said it best. It not only can help with stamina as it relates to “the physical” part of bodybuilding, but also the psychological aspect. As grueling as the sport can be at times, both are needed to maximize results.
A Reduced Risk of Injury/Recovery from Injury
Preforming yoga on a regular basis can help prepare your body for a vigorous session, but also help your body to wind down after one. Oftentimes, weightlifters may focus on one large muscle, or muscle groups, potentially neglecting smaller stabilizer muscles. With certain yoga postures and poses, we may be able to target those smaller, stabilizer muscle groups, further decreasing our risk of injury.
MensJournal says it best, “while the showoff muscles get all the acclaim, they’d be nothing without the supporting cast of smaller stabilizers and assisting muscles”.
Yoga postures, poses and maneuvers for weightlifters can help in several ways for muscles, joints and overall stability of the body. For example, some of the smaller areas of the body important to protect, include the rotator cuffs, obliques, and hamstrings.
With that said, there are specific yoga exercises that can help target these groups of muscles. However, that’s not to say yoga is going to help build huge hamstrings muscles or obliques. Of course, it’s important to add exercises into your weight program to target them, specifically. However, yoga may help reduce risk of injuring these smaller, more supporting areas of the body.
The ability to create great flexibility within muscle groups lends itself to most likely help prevent injuries. Just another reason weightlifters may be using yoga, more then ever before.
A 2002 study looked at yoga and it’s potential benefit to the work force, on stress-induced musculoskeletal disorders. This includes disorders like back pain, carpel tunnel, neck tension and eye strain. Conclusions of the study are broad, but state that yoga at work is “convenient and a practical outlet, that improves work performance by relieving tension”.
Improving Posture: Helps Focus on Opposing Muscle Groups
Every weightlifter knows that posture is essential for great performance. Likewise, plays a role on stage postures and for bodybuilding shows. Thanks to yoga techniques helping with alignment, weightlifters can improve their posture by doing a variety of concentrated maneuvers and positions.
Related Article: Yoga Maneuvers and Stretches to Help Develop Better Posture
A strength and conditioning specialist posted an article on Yoga International discussing these 2 seemingly contradictory activities, working together. “Weightlifting helps to build bulk, causing shortening and tightening of muscles, where yoga can help relax the muscles”, potentially boosting athletic performance.
It’s easy for people who weight train to get caught in a cycle of overworking certain muscle groups. However, in doing so one may create an imbalance. Subsequently, if you’re not working the opposing muscles, it can cause posture issues and injury.
With yoga maneuvers for weightlifters, an individual can hone in on certain muscle groups to maintain a certain level flexibility, range of motion, stretch ,and better lengthening of muscles.
Better Range of Motion
It goes without saying that this is one of the most important reasons weightlifters get involved in yoga. With the intense weights leading to increase mass and muscle shortening, many weightlifters can find themselves stiff and rigid.
Furthermore, causing issues with performing certain workout routines with as much proficiency as they would if the range of motion were better.
Yoga helps to keep the joints flexible, the muscles loose, and elongated, all helping with ROM.
According to BodyBuilding.com, yoga helps to move joints through full range of motion and develops balance. This is important because lifting most often happens through a more two-dimensional stance.
Another article on BodyBuidling.com discusses issues even with simple movements like bending over to pick an object up off the floor. If you have tight hips and hamstrings, you actually can increase your risk of injury, due to the inability to maintain a neutral spine.
What Yoga Poses Should you Try?
This is a great set of techniques and maneuvers, even for beginners, perfect for weightlifters, & power-lifters, to try.
Regardless of what type of performance activity you engage in, yoga can surely be used to supplement whatever other workouts you may already be accustomed to doing. If you are a serious or even intermediate bodybuilding, see what yoga can do for you. Grab your yoga mat, and embark on all the possibilities.
Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to share your favorite yoga experiences with bodybuilding in mind, in our comments section below!
Please share this post on your social media platform’s! Have a great day.