Yoga and bodybuilding don’t seem like they belong in the same camp, but guess what? Maybe they do. The truth is, many bodybuilders lack flexibility while others suffer from general body tightness, and if you have excellent body strength but find it difficult to bend down, you’ve got a problem. You could also be setting yourself up for a serious injury, so you may need the help of yoga, but it is crucial to know whether it is good for bodybuilding or not.
Yoga is good for bodybuilding because it relaxes your tight muscles, helps open up the hips, and builds your stability. It also helps to stretch and lengthen your muscles. Tight muscles and ligaments are not only prone to tears, but they also limit your performance.
Keep it here to find out why yoga is good for bodybuilding. You will also learn which types of yoga are useful for bodybuilding and how you can incorporate them into your regular training program.
Many bodybuilders tend to experience cracks and clicks in their knees and shoulders. This is often accompanied by a reduced range of motion and flexibility in the hips, shoulders, or lower back. Other challenges you might encounter include:
- Your body might feel rather stiff, especially in the morning
- Body aches, pains, and muscle cramps
- Muscle shortening brought about by the repetitive motions and lifting during bodybuilding training such as bench press, squats, and deadlifts
All these issues put you at risk of getting severe injuries and conditions like osteoarthritis. In addition, they could affect your overall health in the long term. You, therefore, need to address these concerns before they get out of hand.
This is where yoga comes in. Yoga entails a series of poses and stretches where you get to hold your breath for some counts. Also, holding your body in extended positions helps to enhance mobility and flexibility. To expound further on this, let’s look at some of the reasons why yoga and bodybuilding go well together.
Yoga is great for bodybuilding because it:
- Enhances the connection between your mind and your body
- Raises your endurance levels and improves your muscle tone
- Opens up your body and helps to reduce stiffness, aches, and pains
- Teaches you how to use your abs as natural stabilizers
- Reaches muscle groups that fail to respond well to weight training
- Improves your digestion, blood circulation, and stimulates your immune system
- Heightens your body awareness, helps with alignment, and corrects your posture
- Provides your muscles with the flexibility they need to perform bodybuilding activities without the fear of injury
- Helps re-establish your range of motion and function mobility, thus reducing your risk of injury and joint issues
As you can see, incorporating yoga into your bodybuilding workout regime offers you immeasurable advantages. Among the remarkable benefits highlighted above, improvement to your core stands out. A strong core stabilizes and supports your body, gives it proper balance, and allows it to move with ease. Moreover, this will enable you to keep injuries at bay.
When it comes to stretching, yoga calls for you to hold a given posture for much longer than the quick, repetitive movements of a typical bodybuilding workout. Besides, while bodybuilding results in fast-twitch muscle fibers for delivering power and speed, yoga creates slow-twitch muscle fibers more suited to endurance.
However, both muscle fibers are essential as they allow your tissues to remain healthy as you build your muscles.
Still, the repetitive movements needed to build muscle mass make your muscles less elastic, thus restricting your range of motion and making you injury prone.
Good posture is essential in bodybuilding. While it’s great for aesthetics, it’s crucial in avoiding injuries and attaining balanced muscle development. Correct posture also creates equilibrium, the absence of which causes muscle shortening and ligament injury.
Since a yoga workout touches all the muscle groups—including the small ones—it enables you to have a healthier posture.
Yoga is not only excellent for stretching your body, but it’s also very effective in relieving stress and relaxing the mind. Also, the heightened self-awareness occasioned by being present makes you more attuned to your body, so you know when to slow down—and avoid injury.
Lastly, with yoga, you learn how to transition and pose with a touch of elegance, which is great if you are into competitive bodybuilding, and it also boosts your self-esteem. So, instead of looking stressed and uncomfortable on stage, you use your breath to ease fluidly into each posture.
While there are different types of yoga, some are more well-suited for bodybuilding. Besides, each yoga style offers a different approach to improving your range of motion, mental clarity, and body awareness.
Here are some great variations to consider:
If you desire to build your muscles and a stronger body, then go for power vinyasa yoga. This type of yoga is gentle on the body. It also enables you to stretch deeply as you strengthen your body. Practice this on a day when you are not lifting weights or unable to use them because of an injury.
Power yoga is also known to boost your metabolic rate.
Yin yoga does not focus on building strong muscles. Instead, this type of yoga uses relaxation to lengthen connective tissue. It also encourages your joints to extend fully, helping to ease tight muscles and relieve joint pain. It’s excellent for bodybuilders experiencing persistent pain.
This style also strives to get participants to reach a meditative state. As such, you will find yourself holding poses for up to twenty minutes. If you are a beginner, you’d rather not start here as the long poses are better suited to experienced yogi.
Restorative yoga is best-suited to alleviate aches and pains and is excellent for those instances when you are recovering from an injury. The practice achieves healing and realignment by incorporating supportive poses and sequences such as raising your legs against a wall.
You can also try the following additional poses:
- If your lower back feels tight, a spinal twist will help alleviate the tightness in your spine
- To strengthen your core and condition the muscles surrounding your shoulder blades or collarbones, go for planks
- For a strong back, glutes, and abdominals, try the opposite arm and leg extension, better known as the bird dog
- If you are looking to enhance your stability, develop your spine, or open up your chest, go for the cobra pose
To start with, try a light yoga routine before and after each bodybuilding workout. When you end your sessions with yoga, the postures help balance your body and evoke a sense of tranquility.
With time, your mobility and flexibility will improve, and you will feel more focused and better positioned to reach your full potential.
Since you shouldn’t spend your entire rest day on the couch, engaging in a low-impact activity like yoga is ideal. Nonetheless, this depends on the type of yoga you choose.
Go for Yin yoga since it’s calm, slow, and boasts a meditative quality, making it excellent for a rest day. Besides, the long holds allow you to slow down enough to work on your ligaments, fascia, and tendons.
For your body to maintain strength and optimum health for a long time, you need to train smart and treat your body well. Also, to build body mass, your body needs strength and mobility. How do you ensure that you provide your body with all it needs to perform at its best?
How about you try out yoga? If you practice yoga along with your bodybuilding, it will help you to:
- Improve your muscular strength
- Boost your body’s flexibility
- Promote recovery from chronic pain
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Enhance your overall well-being
All these are beneficial to your bodybuilding. Besides, your body and mind will always feel relaxed, calm, and invigorated after a yoga class.
- Do You: Yoga for Bodybuilders
- Gloveworx: The Importance of Building a Strong Core
- Very Well Health: A Yoga Spinal Twist May Help Relieve Back Pain
- Yoga Journal: Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Very Well Fit: How to Do the Bird-Dog Exercise: Benefits and Variations
- Natural Awakenings: Buff and Balanced: Bodybuilders Turn to Yoga
- Bodybuilding: Yoga: Enhancing The Art of Bodybuilding And Supercharging…
- Bodybuilding: Fit and Flexible: 7 Popular Yoga Styles
- NCBI: Exploring the Therapeutic Effects of Yoga and Its Ability to Increase quality of life
- Healthline: Why Being Flexible Is Great for Your Health
- IJOY: Impact of 10-Weeks of Yoga Practice on Flexibility and Balance…
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