Whoever would have thought that yoga and weightlifting was such a fantastic combination but actually, they are literally a match made in heaven!
Whether you are a novice weight lifter or a competitive sportsman or woman there’s a lot to be said for adding yoga into your workout routine.
Now of course, both sports have their benefits and when you blend the two together the outcome is interesting.
Yoga gives you an all-over body workout whereas weight lifting works out muscles and builds power. In order to build power you need strength and yoga offers a truly uplifting workout experience which delivers outstanding muscular strength.
As well as good strength, weight lifting is an endurance sport. To be able to lift very heavy loads you need incredible focus and determination. Practicing yoga makes sure that your mind is specifically focused on the task at hand.
When you apply this principle to weight lifting you really control your mind and your movements – nothing else gets in the way because when you are using your mind to this level, your concentration has to be spot on without distraction.
Several studies show that the “mind-muscle” connection is a huge factor in how quickly someone can build muscle.
Ensuring you are concentrating on the actual muscle that does the lifting you recruit more muscle fibres in that area and are able to target that muscle group more.
Many weight lifters often make the mistake of trying to lift too heavy without the intense mind muscle connection.
Someone who has been practicing the art of Yoga for a while will be able to use his or her mind to focus on any situation successfully so when you use this art in conjunction with weight lifting you will be amazed at the increased amount you can lift.
Weight lifting alone won’t make you a fully balanced individual. Many fall into the trap of focusing too much on muscle growth of a certain muscle and not on balance. This often leads to long term damage and imbalances around the body.
This is where Yoga really comes in.
While on the subject of stamina, because yoga focuses on breathing technique it allows the airways to open and so you take deeper breaths, which brings oxygen into the body boosting circulation and lung capacity.
This is very important for weight lifters because they need to be able to endure long periods of time lifting heavy weights so breathing properly is vital.
Equally, making sure there is plenty of oxygen circulating round the body will make the difference to a good performance and an excellent performance.
How It All Comes Together
So far we know that stamina, concentration and strength are all compatible with weight lifting and essential for successful weight lifting but it’s also very beneficial to practice yoga to relax the mind.
Weight lifting requires exceptional power and weight lifters are often left completely exhausted after a session.
It can take a long time to wind down but practising the art of yoga helps to calm the mind, refresh the body faster and therefore it’s a quicker route to relaxation.
This is because much of yoga focuses on your mental state and it helps to balance the mind.
Finally, whichever sport you choose it’s always good to be accomplished in more than one or two different types and it’s definitely a good idea to try something which on paper might seem completely different.
There are benefits to all sports and mixing them up will give your body a different type of workout.
By blending two seemingly different sports such as yoga and weight lifting you can apply what you learn from each to your separate sessions.