As a weightlifter, it is easy to start looking down on other forms of fitness just because you can lift more weight than them. You can start seeing your workouts as the only real way to push the body to new limits and really testing yourself. This is not always true though. Just because every form of fitness does not involve pushing as much weight as you can, does not mean it is not a valuable or even a killer workout.
Yoga is one of these that can be looked down upon by weightlifters, because it does not involve any weights. The truth is, even the most hardcore lifter will find themselves having a hard time keeping up in a yoga class. I am sure there are some lifters reading this right now that are thinking there is no way they could not keep up in a yoga class. I urge those to reach out to a yoga instructor and see how they feel in a yoga class.
Yoga is a form of fitness that utilizes the entire body in ways most other forms of fitness do not. It is probably one of the truest full body workouts. It will work even the tiniest muscles that most the time are overlooked in the lifting community. This isn’t necessarily on purpose though, it is just hard to hit every little muscle adequately in a lifting routine. Working these overlooked muscles will help you perform better on your main lifts, just because these muscles are not the main muscles engaged they are still necessary to help those main muscles perform a lift.
Another great benefit of yoga is it will help open up your whole body. A lot of the time for lifters our bodies are very tight because we work them so hard that our muscles are almost always tight. This is not great for your body though it will make performing exercises correctly and safely tough.
Of course stretching before a workout will be a major help with loosening these muscles, but then you are lifting and you tighten these muscle rights back up again. Doing yoga will make your muscles really have to loosen up so you can perform some of the poses. It will also keep the muscles looser for longer. Yoga is almost like doing an hour of stretches.
Not only will this help your body be more loose, but it will also help your posture. You will be able to squat deeper and get that bench press to hit your chest with ease, all while helping your shoulders to be looser so they are not sloped forward. This will have a major effect on your physique. Having proper posture will make your muscles stand out more.
I urge all lifters to step away from our egos and give yoga a try. Even if you do not want to be caught by your buddies walking into a yoga studio, reach out to a private instructor and set up a personal lesson. If “yoga” isn’t the word you want to use, reach out to Elite Home Fitness for training sessions that focus on mobility and stretching. I guarantee this will help you perform better in the gym if you stick with it and it will end up being a lot harder of a workout then you expected leaving you having more respect for the other people who do not lift weights as part of a workout.