At first glance, yoga is not an exercise many bodybuilders would quickly consider. But honestly, the two forms of exercise actually have a lot in common.
When you consider their benefits, they both seek to improve your body, even if they go on to do this rather differently. Yet, a strong overlap still remains. Both bodybuilders and seasoned yoga practitioners should take advantage of that.
Yoga seeks to improve vitality with better posture. It establishes a strong connection between your mind and body. Bodybuilding, on the other hand, focuses entirely on muscle development. This can sometimes be a problem, as excessive weightlifting will result in tighter but shorter muscles.
Yet, yoga can counter this through its posturing and stretching. By combining the two, you can achieve firm muscles with the length required to achieve full range of motion.
Similarly, it can be argued that many bodybuilders put their bodies through a lot of stress. Incorporating yoga into your regime will easily help avoid these issues, as it will help preserve your joints and body fluids.
Yoga is also great for endurance. Holding key positions for sa long duration of time will help improve the stability of the targeted muscles. In short, there are a number of great reasons why yoga should be included in bodybuilding workouts. Here are six of the most effective yoga poses to include as part of your program:
The plank position often looks simple. Yet, many practitioners know how hard it is to achieve. To complete the plank, your body needs to be off the ground and forming a straight line along your back. It's this posture that helps build muscles. It also hones your inner core.
Furthermore, as it holds your back straight, this pose will stretch your body. This is vital if you want your muscles to adapt around various bone structures – such as the shoulder blades – while still developing mass.
In addition to toning your stomach, the plank also helps decrease back pain, which is beneficial during workouts. All of these benefits are seldom included in a typical weightlifting workout.
You can even add side planks. These offer the same benefits as normal planks, but they focus on the side muscles instead.
2. Standing Forward Bend
Also commonly referred to as Uttasana, this pose is very effective for improving joints and the development of calf, hip and hamstring muscles. To complete this position, you should bend forward at your hips. This will cause your torso to extend. Your palms should also be on the floor, open and flat, and your elbows should be bent.
During this process, your body will improve in tension and endurance. This will help to strengthen your thighs and knees. This exercise enables you to stretch areas that are typically ignored during weightlifting, such as the back and leg muscles.
This allows for fully-rounded development.
Although it is a more difficult position to achieve, the plow offers some important benefits. You can start the plow by lying on your back, pointing your legs straight toward the sky and having your hands support your back.
This can then be completed by bringing the legs past your head and back onto the ground. At this point, your arms should be on your side, rather than offering support. Completing this pose will stretch the muscles in your shoulders and back.
Bodybuilders should include this yoga pose because stretching these muscles helps increase the pressure and strain the body goes through during more difficult exercises. With repetition, it can also stretch your legs, as well as reduce your body's fatigue levels.
4. Opposite Arm And Leg Extension
This position does exactly what its name suggests. It is also often called the bird dog pose. Although they are simple, opposite arm and leg extensions can offer increased stability in the lower back, core and gluteal muscles.
To complete this pose, start with your open palms and knees on the floor. While you keep your abs tight, raise your left leg and right arm. These should complete a straight line with your body.
You only need to keep this position for a few seconds before doing the same thing with the opposing limbs. The main benefit of this exercise is the fact that it improves a wide range of your back muscles, as well as your balance.
5. Single Leg Exercises
These exercises are very important for preventing injuries. They help strengthen the lower back and leg muscles that other leg workouts might omit. They also help warm muscles, as well as offer better body posture and poise.
To complete this position, start by sitting on your left leg. Hold your arm in front of your body. Next, use your hips and push backward.
During this process, your knee should bend. This will help your body represent a shape that convokes sitting in a chair. After a few seconds in this position, push yourself up and do the same thing on the other leg.
6. High And Low Cobra Poses
This pose is also commonly referred to as Bhujangasana. The completed position resembles a cobra with its head raised.
To complete this pose, start by lying face down, using your hands to push both your head and chest up. The goal is to bend your back, creating a smooth arch.
How high you go is not the most important factor. Many people choose to start with low cobra, and they work their way up to higher poses as they improve.
For bodybuilders, this position helps to improve the spine, chest and lungs. It also encourages correct posture and balance. In terms of actual muscle strength, this pose will offer firmer muscle mass in the abdomen and shoulders.
Because of these benefits, quick and efficient yoga exercises such as these can easily fit into any workout routine, thus preparing the body for longer, tougher exercises at the gym. These positions will help you maintain balance, hone your core muscles and improve both your body and mind along the way.