It’s always the other way around, right?
Yoga for weight lifting…
Yoga for CrossFit…
Yoga for this and that…
But what helps yoga?
Many would argue that yoga is a complete, full-body, strength-building workout. Just do yoga, they say, and you’ll be covered. No need to lift heavy things…you’ll mess up your back. No need to run…that’s bad for you anyways. No need to do pull-ups…you’ll mess up your shoulders. Just yoga. Work with your body weight. That’s enough. Get your cardio via Power Yoga or Vinyasa flow. That’s enough.
This mentality, in my opinion, kind of makes yoga sound stuck up, as it puts yoga above the rest. No doubt about it, yoga is an amazing physical journey! And also, it does take it a step further with all that mind and spirit stuff, which may or may not be of interest.
But to say that yoga is a complete workout is a bit inaccurate. Let me give one quick example. Can you think of any pulling movements in yoga? Think hard. Let me save you some time going through the asana archives and tell you: there’s not one pulling movement in yoga. As such, the lats and biceps are straight chillin’. It doesn’t matter how many yoga pushups you do. It doesn’t matter if you can walk on your hands. There’s some strength-building limitations of yoga. If you’re a yogi and only a yogi, go try a pull-up or a chin-up. You’ll see what I mean.
Oh and let’s consider strength. How do you build strength? Well, there’s 3 ways to boost your bulk.
First, you can increase time under tension. So in yoga, this would mean holding the pose longer. Okay, you can do that. But there’s going to be a point where holding that plank seems like a waste of time. Time under tension isn’t the optimal way to build strength. Let’s just put it that way.
Second, you can increase the load. In yoga, all you have to work with is your body weight. So, here again, yoga is limited in its strength-building abilities. You’ll reach a plateau.
Third, you can train your muscles by increasing the range of motion (ROM) under tension. You might be thinking that yoga increases range of motion. That is true. Yoga is good for flexibility. But again, it’s limited as a strength builder because you’re only working with your body weight. You have to continue adding additional weight on top of your body weight for more strength.
So, what’s the strength-building solution if you’re a yogi? If strength is truly your goal, I say incorporate some basic weight lifting into your Greenville gym routine: squats, dead lifts, overhead presses, bench press, and barbell rows. You’ll, for sure, see increased leg, glute and upper strength, all of which will support a stronger yoga practice. Upper body strength will upgrade your inversions and arm balances. More leg strength will upgrade your backbends. Weighted squats will increase your hip mobility for deep hip openers. And so on…
Want to start weightlifting at the Greenville health club? Enter our state of the art gym facility! Greenville athletic club has all the strength-building bells and whistles you could possibly need to start a weight lifting program, including trained experts to help you along the way. But if yoga is still your bottom line…we do offer lots of Greenville yoga classes to choose from, too! To each is own. You do you.