Many individuals devoted to exercise prefer a particular type of training, whether it’s yoga, weights, cardio, or something else. However, while it’s nice to stick with a routine and follow the training style you know, it can get boring after a while. So, if you find yourself stuck in a training rut, you might debate the merits of mixing it up.
Changing the entire routine might not seem appealing, so you decide to incorporate another type of training. How about yoga and weight training? Do they work? Or should you avoid pairing these two together in the same training schedule? Let’s find out.
Is It OK To Do Yoga And Weight Training?
Incorporating yoga and weight training into your exercise routine is more than doable. It can be incredibly beneficial, as combining the two can accelerate your progress, sending you well on your way to achieving your fitness goals. While your body might need time to adjust to both types of training, doing both regularly is entirely doable.
You can do both on the same day or devote a few days to each type. The charts below offer a few example workout schedules of this particular combination. It’s important to note that these are simply examples and may not be suitable for every individual:
Benefits Of Combining Yoga And Weight Training
Yoga and weight training bring something different to the table, offering unique benefits. So, when you combine the two in your workout routine, you reap the benefits of both practices. These training types fit together perfectly; creating a neatly arranged puzzle will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Yoga offers an extensive range of benefits, including:
- Stress relief
- Improved emotional health
- Reduced anxiety
- Increased range of motion
- Better balance
- Improved flexibility
- Relieves aches and pains due to tight muscles
- Improves posture and bone health
Conversely, weight training offers its own perks, including:
- Enhances muscle mass
- Maintains muscle mass and helps combat muscle loss due to aging
- Improves bone density
- Increases metabolism
- Aids in achieving weight loss goals
- Can enhance your overall quality of life
The two training approaches complement each other beautifully, working different parts of your body to target specific goals. For example, strength training prioritizes muscle growth and sculpting stronger muscles. Conversely, yoga soothes the aches and pains of tight muscles while simultaneously improving your flexibility and range of motion.
A Seamless Flow Of Perks
The benefits of yoga and weight training intertwine in a seamless mesh of improvements, allowing you to take your training to another level. Here are a few perks of combining the two in your regular workout routine:
Flexibility + Strength
As mentioned, each type of training brings something different to the table. Yoga offers flexibility and endurance, while weight training offers strength and muscle growth. Combining the two gives you the best of both worlds – better flexibility, improved endurance, honed strength, and more muscle growth!
Better Chance Of Avoiding Injuries
Yoga and weight training balance well, especially when it comes to avoiding injuries. In weight training, it’s far too easy to unintentionally injure yourself with improper form or technique. You might be too inflexible to achieve a particular pose, like poor hamstring flexibility in a deadlift, opening the door to injury.
By combining weight training with yoga, you can avoid injuries better. Yoga improves your overall flexibility and range of motion, making you far less likely to injure yourself while lifting.
Many of us are notorious for holding our breaths during challenging poses, especially those with prolonged holds or multiple grueling sets. We see this often in weight-lifting competitions when lifters are going for a max lift and holding their breath through the pose, only to pass out during or after the lift.
Yoga prioritizes breathwork, focusing on deep, even breathing, even in strenuous poses. This translates well in weight lifting, giving you the tools to learn breath control, even as you push through heavy lifts.
Improved Muscle Mass + Endurance
Weight training forces your muscles to grow stronger by lifting heavier weights as your strength improves, while yoga offers a challenge to the endurance factor by forcing your muscles to maintain lengthy holds.
The skills you develop in each type of training shine through in all aspects of training. For example, you might find that you can hold poses longer without as much of a challenge as you improve your strength. Or, you may discover you can lift heavier weights for more sets in your workouts as you hone your endurance during yoga.
Enhanced Speed And Power
In yoga, flows and sequences are rarely high-impact. While there’s no doubting the impressive intensity of specific yoga movements, these classes aren’t designed for explosive speed or power. They prioritize balance and controlled strength and flexibility, whereas strength training can aid in developing your explosive speed and power.
The type of strength training you do will determine how well you hone these aspects, but various types can offer excellent improvements. For example, practicing squats, lunges, and other strength-based exercises aid in developing muscle fibers, providing a better chance at speed and power.
You may notice a stronger, more balanced feel in both sessions when combining yoga with strength training.
Stress And Anxiety Management
While almost any type of exercise is excellent for relieving stress and anxiety, yoga is known for its soothing benefits. A regular yoga practice, when combined with strength training, gives your body the balance it needs to manage stress and anxiety levels.
Yoga is the perfect way to soothe your body and mind, smoothing over rough patches and restoring mental equilibrium. Conversely, strength training is an excellent way to challenge your body and mind, releasing pent-up frustration and anger.
They complement each other nicely, matching relaxation with a release for a controlled and relaxed feel.
Can You Lift Weights And Do Yoga On The Same Day?
Yoga can be a grueling workout by itself, as can weight training, so can you do them on the same day? The answer varies based on factors specific to you. For the most part, doing both on the same day is doable.
However, it’s essential to work within your limits. When you start training with both yoga and weight lifting, your body might need time to adjust. After all, each training approach is challenging in its own right. Neither type is a walk in the park, although some types of yoga are geared toward rest and recovery.
Since everyone has a unique fitness level, some folk might have no issues practicing both daily, while others may struggle to push through both sessions. We recommend starting slowly, ensuring you take your time adjusting, especially if you’re new to weight training or yoga (or both).
For example, let’s say you’re familiar with yoga but have never tried weight lifting. In the beginning, you can continue regularly practicing yoga, but avoid incorporating more than a few weight-lifting sessions per week. Start slowly by adding one or two weekly weight-lifting sessions, then gradually increase your practicing frequency as your body acclimates.
When you’re ready, you might be able to handle four or five weight-lifting/yoga sessions each week. Until then, it’s vital to listen to your body and take it slow.
In addition, be smart about the sessions you choose. For instance, you might not want to combine a killer leg-focused weights session with a hot yoga class. Both of these sessions are intense, and doing both on the same day might be too much for your body. Instead, you could do restorative yoga on your leg-focused weight day.
Choose classes and sessions that will challenge you, but avoid pushing yourself too hard, as this could lead to an injury. Remember, you don’t have to do your sessions one right after the other. You could do your weights session in the morning and a yoga session in the afternoon or evening to wind down. It’s entirely up to you.
Is It OK To Lift Weights After Yoga?
Generally speaking, it’s better to get in your weight lifting session before your yoga class, as flipping it the other way can be detrimental. While yoga and weight lifting go together beautifully in a workout routine, it’s best to do yoga after weight lifting.
So, why should you do yoga after weights? It comes down to the training styles. With many types of yoga, you focus on long, static holds, similar to static stretching. Of course, some types of yoga keep things moving with rapid sequences, but many types feature lengthy holds.
This can detrimentally impact your muscle power, either by tiring out the muscle or by loosening it. While the explanation behind a tired muscle further challenged in another type of training targeting the same muscle is pretty self-explanatory, a loose or stretched muscle is a little less straightforward.
For example, let’s say you do a restorative yoga class (or another flexibility-based class) right before weight training. Upon finishing the class, your muscles are warm and stretched due to longer holds. If you follow up with weight training, you might not perform as well. Since you just focused on elongating the muscle, asking it to contract tightly is tricky, as the muscle is loose and limber.
You might notice you have a tough time lifting as heavy or pushing yourself as hard as you usually do, so it’s best to do your yoga session after your weight training session. Aside from the potential performance issues, practicing yoga after weights makes more sense. After all, since many types of yoga focus on deep stretches and flexibility, a yoga class can serve as your cool down from your weights workout.
That said, not all types of yoga are of a cool-down nature, like Bikram or Ashtanga yoga. The more intense yoga styles are better suited to their own workout day, as they’re challenging enough as is (without adding a weights session).