There are approximately 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide, with Americans spending around $16 billion on yoga every year. Yoga has many scientifically studied and proven benefits—including greater strength and flexibility, and stress reduction. Yoga is also being used successfully across the nation in rehabilitation programs for everything from substance abuse to anxiety and depression. If you are thinking of incorporating yoga into your bodybuilding routine, read one! By joining yoga and bodybuilding you will achieve a balance of your mind and body. These two components makes your training an ideal whole.
Boosting Flexibility and Mobility
As people age, their muscles can become less flexible and their range of motion can be reduced by injuries/obesity/poor nutrition, and more. Yoga comprises the performance of a series of asanas (or postured), which are coordinated with controlled breathing. Asanas such as the dolphin, lizard, and side angle can all increase flexibility, while asanas such as the cat-cow pose, the king dancer pose, and the butterfly pose can all boost mobility. When you stretch and move your joints through full rotations thanks to improved mobility, your range of motion is expanded and this can contribute to a better development of muscle during training. Think of how many bodybuilding and strength exercises improve correct movement. The long list includes squats, lunges, shoulder and overhead presses, tricep dips, and more.
Yoga, Prevention, and Recovery
Yoga can also help you prevent injuries and recover your strength after a tough workout. Most yoga styles prioritize the importance of stretching, flexibility, and tension relief. They also involve controlled breathing or mindful breathing, which enables you to be more aware of your movements and to perform them in a controlled fashion. If you are keen to tap into the benefits of controlled breathing, it pays to first learn the correct techniques, slowly increasing the amount of time you take to exhale oxygen, before exhaling CO2-rich air. Once you are a pro at it, you can even take part in instructor training for mindfulness SOMA breathing, pranayamic breathing, and other techniques. Techniques like SOMA focus strongly on the present moment, a quality that can help you perform your lifts with impeccable technique, sustaining weights for an optimal length of time.
Improving Key Measurements Prior to a Competition
If you are a competitive bodybuilder, then you know that nerves and anxiety can make it hard to perform your lifts mindfully or keep the effects of stress at bay. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga (Woodyard, 2011) showed that yoga enables individuals to relax, slow their breath and focus on the present, and move from the ‘fight or flight’ response mode to a more relaxed one. Yoga also lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, and reduces the rate of stress hormone, cortisol.
How Can Bodybuilding Enhance Yoga Practice?
Yoga and bodybuilding are mutually useful. Having a lean, muscular, strong body is ultra helpful when you are called upon to perform more strenuous yoga poses. Yoga helps strengthen your core, but so does core-centered resistance and strength training. Yoga poses that require practitioners to use their abdominal muscles can be easily performed by body builders who may have spent years strengthening these areas. Bodybuilding can also tighten your muscle tissue and help you build more stamina for your workouts.
Yoga and bodybuilding make excellent companions at the gym and outdoors. We can rightly say yoga and bodybuilding go hand in hand! Yoga can help boost flexibility, motion, and strength, and help bodybuilders calm down before tense competitions. Meanwhile, bodybuilding can boost a person’s confidence, helping them feel stronger in key areas such as the core—which are so important for tough yoga poses like the warrior 3, the plank, and the dolphin pose.
Closing thoughts: Yoga and bodybuilding
Yoga lets your body warm up and cool down which gives your muscles that oxygen and energy that they are looking for. Yoga teaches you correct body posture which is important in bodybuilding. Many yoga poses and routines help you to build endurance which is the main tool you need to be able to continue building muscle. Doing yoga after training can assist in relieving muscle tension and preventing soreness and help return your body to its resting state.