WHY YOU NEED BOTH – YOGA AND STRENGTH TRAINING!
Yoga with focussed breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, brings us more flexibility, and improves our balance. Strength training increases physical performance, improves posture, and reduces the risk of injury when falling. In addition, from the age of 30 our muscles and bones start to diminish. Training with weights can prevent this breakdown or, with enough effort, even build them up again.
It is scientifically proven that strength training, if it is done correctly, is the health training par excellence. Because it can have all the positive effects of endurance training as well as additional effects. The WHO has now included regular strength training in its health recommendations. In addition to regular endurance training, it is recommended that you strengthen your muscles at least twice a week.
Exactly for these reasons you need both – yoga and strength training – to live a long and above all healthy life.
The Yoga practice benefits from strengthened muscles.
This will make your yoga asanas more controlled and give you more stability. Or you will build enough strength to do them in the first place. Because many of the advanced postures in yoga require not only the necessary flexibility but also strength. With additional strength training you can develop much faster and more efficiently than by continuously trying out strenuous yoga postures on its own. Those who only practice yoga will reach a plateau soon enough and will not progress nearly as quickly as with additional targeted strength training. Yoga is also more fun when you suddenly succeed in handstands or difficult arm balances.
As I stated in my blog post What is the ideal combination of yoga, endurance, and strength training? strength training can lead to imbalances. In addition to the excessive tension that sometimes builds, posture can also be affected. Here, most of the work is done only on large muscle groups and, above all, on the surface muscles. This often leads to back problems, a lack of coordination and mobility. Regular yoga practice can, however, counteract this very well.
Strength training complements very well by the balance and stability that yoga asanas bring.
This new stability is greatly beneficial in strength training. After stressful strength training, a yoga sequence can help to compensate for any imbalances that have occurred. In addition, a relaxing yin yoga or a restorative yoga unit can be used for regeneration and for stretching. Through the gentle yoga movements, fascia and muscles get better blood supply and generally our metabolic processes are accelerated. This then shortens the overall regeneration time after a strenuous workout. In yoga, the focus is on breathing and a strength athlete can “learn to breathe” with yoga and apply this later in training.
Here is my recommendation for getting the most out of Yoga and Strength training:
- Strength training 2-4 times a week with an emphasis on multi-joint, complex exercise. A maximum of one or two sets and with a high number of repetitions (around 20).
- 2-4 yoga sessions per week with a yin yoga unit with the aim of slowly stretching and relaxing the entire active and passive musculoskeletal system. Additionally, with a more dynamic vinyasa yoga unit that requires complex and highly coordinative movements.
Ideally, these 4-8 units are designed so that the same units are well distributed over the week. On a day, only one strenuous session is combined with a regenerative session. Strength training for a specific muscle group in the morning can also be combined well with a regenerative yoga session in the evening with a focus on stretching this muscle group.
And if you are still motivated, you should include a few endurance units per week. For that, I recommend my last blog post Yoga & endurance training, this is how you get the benefits from both.