best Way To Build Muscle with Yoga

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To most people the term strength training implies weight training with sets of reps of using weights to cause resistance for muscle contractions. For those who have felt the ache in their muscles after a good yoga class, the question arises: Would Yoga Make An Effective Replacement For Strength Training?
Weight training is recommended by many doctors as the top preventative measure against bone loss while experts advise doing some kind of strength training to keep the metabolism in peak running condition at least twice a week.
For those who are put off by the vision of becoming eternally reliant on resistance cords, dumbbells or weight machines this might be a turn off. So, could you do yoga instead of weight training?
Is Yoga An Effective Way To Build Muscle?
Yoga expert, Rodney Yee explains that when people ask him if he lifts weights he replies that he does – his own body weight.
Yee goes on to say that when you place your body in yoga positions you have to use your muscles to provide the support for your body weight. This means that you are effectively lifting weight.
Cobra Pose By Rodney Yee
Many yogis do not like to focus on how yoga can sculpt the physique, and Yee is no exception. Like other yogis, Yee wants students to focus on the internal benefits of yoga – the way of feeling, thinking and being rather than being focused on changing the outer appearance.
Having said that, as you can see from the photos in this article, the muscle tone of both Yee and his wife, Colleen Saidman is impressive.
In a nutshell, you can certainly increase the definition and tone of your muscles as well as the size, using yoga. However, since yoga limits you to lifting no more than your own body weight it can take more time, determination and skill to achieve results than it would using weight training.
Nicholas DiNubile, M.D. explains that when it comes to building a more impressive and stronger physique, yoga can be equally as effective as weight training. Naturally, though, whether using yoga as your sole form or strength training would be effective or not will depend on your goals.
If you want to build bulk you would get better results with weight training.
As DiNubile points out, weight training is a more practical approach if you are looking to build muscle. In fact, strength training is defined by the American Council on Exercise as exercising with increasingly heavier resistance in order to strengthen the muscular skeletal system.
For this goal, the resistance needs to be progressively heavier. Your bones and muscles need to be overloaded in order to continue to develop. In traditional weight training, as your muscles adapt to the weights, becoming stronger, you need to add more weight in order to achieve the same results.
In theory, in weight training you could continue to grow the strength and weight of your muscles indefinitely by adding weight.
In contrast, yoga is a more rounded approach.
Yoga provides a more balanced way to do strength training for several reasons.
Practicing yoga regularly can condition the body to perform everyday activities more effectively such as sit, walk, bend, lift groceries and twist; and it helps to reduce the risk of injury. Yoga is a form of functional fitness and makes your body move in the ways it was designed to move, keeping it functioning properly. For example, rather than performing moves on a one-dimensional plane – back and forth like the motion in a bicep curl, yoga involves using both small and large muscles moving in many directions such as arcing, twisting etc.
Whereas weight training focuses on isolating and flexing one muscle group or one muscle at a time, yoga tones muscles all over the body in balance.
Triangle Pose By Rodney Yee
Part of the effect of yoga is the stretching of muscles as they contract. This gives muscles a sleek and elongated look as well as increasing the flexibility of both the joints and muscles. On the other hand, weight training relies on the opposite physical principal of concentric muscle contraction resulting in the muscle getting smaller as it contracts. This results in the muscle fibers healing close together which gives the muscle a bulging, compact look – unless proper stretching is done.
Due to the practice of holding each pose for a period of time and repeating it several times during the session, yoga increases muscle endurance.
It is a good idea to do both in order to achieve good overall fitness.
A good mix of both weight and resistance training, and body weight exercises is an effective way to stay fit and healthy. In fact, you will see faster results if you use more variety in your workout routine according to many studies.
Body weight exercises include squats, push-ups and other calisthenics – in fact any movement in which you need to lift yourself up or hold your weight using your limbs.
It is a good idea to continually try out new forms of exercise and explore as well as finding a form of exercise that you enjoy and can commit to as a lifelong habit. Including different types of workout techniques will help you to push your body in different ways and to help you grow in your physical fitness and as an individual.
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