Everyone knows of the term yoga yet not everyone knows of its benefits.
When it comes to participating in yoga, it is much more than just stretching and flexibility but is about muscle building too.
In this article, we will be delving further into how yoga can promote muscle growth as well as why this is an exercise all should follow.
What Is Yoga?
What is yoga? Is it just another exercise or something else entirely?
Yoga is a practice that originated thousands of years ago in India. It involves stretching and poses (asanas) that aim to improve health and well-being.
Yoga has become very popular over the last decade, especially in Western countries.
Yoga is a great way to build strength and flexibility. In addition to improving your body, it also helps you relax and clear your mind.
If you want to get started, check out these benefits of yoga:
1. Builds Strength
2. Improves Flexibility
3. Reduces Stress
4. Helps You Relax
5. Promotes Balance
6. Increases Your Range Of Motion
7. Relieves Pain
8. Boosts Energy
9. Strengthens The Heart And Lungs
10. Improves Digestion
This list only shows a few of the benefits of yoga, but in actuality the list is endless. Yoga is a great exercise to get into. Not only is it good for the body but good for the mind and soul too.
Does Yoga Build Muscle?
The answer to this question is not simple. Whilst this exercise does help a person to become stronger and tests a person's strength, this is not to say it is the ultimate way of building muscle.
It is better to look at yoga as a helping hand for muscle building.
There are many different types of yoga including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Bikram, etc. Each one focuses on different things such as breathing techniques, postures, meditation, etc.
Some focus on strength while others focus on flexibility. Regardless of what type of yoga you choose, you will see results.
Ways Yoga Builds Muscle
Yoga is a great form of exercise, so much so that it can even be argued that it can replace weight training.
Yoga, just like many other physical activities, can help a person to build muscle. The question now is 'how'?
Some ways yoga can be used to build muscle include:
Many people don't know that proper breathing is essential to burning fat and building muscle. Proper breathing is done by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
This is known as diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is beneficial because it increases oxygen intake. Oxygen is needed to burn calories and build muscles.
2. Weight Training
Yoga is not an alternative to weight lifting however it can still be beneficial for supporting the process.
Weightlifting builds muscle faster and stronger than any other method but the skills learnt through yoga such as breathing and other techniques can help with the muscle building process.
3. Core Workout
Yoga is a great core workout. Because of the stretching and balance exercises, you'll work all your major muscle groups. It's also easy to do at home or anywhere else.
Cardio is another great way to burn calories and build muscle. Yoga is a great cardio activity because it strengthens the heart and lungs. It also improves digestion.
Balancing In Yoga Strengthens Muscles
The balancing aspect of yoga can strengthen muscles. Balancing is when you perform yoga for strength or certain movements without using your arms.
These movements can be done standing up, sitting down, lying down, or even upside down.
By doing this, you force your body to use more muscles than if you were simply moving around with your arms.
This makes them stronger. Balancing is used a lot in yoga, therefore being another way yoga is great for building muscle.
Pros And Cons Of Yoga
There are pros and cons to practicing yoga. One of the main reasons why people dislike yoga is because they think it is difficult. However, there are many different styles of yoga from which to choose.
So, what are the pros and cons of yoga?
- Yoga helps to improve posture.
- It improves overall health.
- It reduces stress levels.
- It relaxes the mind and body.
- Yoga for sore muscles can help with recovery.
- It may take some time to learn how to practice properly.
- It requires patience.
- You may get injured.
Best Yoga Poses For Building Muscle
Yoga is not simple. There are many poses that should be learnt and it is a skill to master them. Although some are simple, others are very difficult and this takes plenty of practice, energy, and muscle ability.
Below, we will be listing some of the best yoga poses for you to try, both easy and difficult. Whichever one you choose will have an effect on your strength.
1. Warrior Pose
This pose is a great pose to start off with. It works out the entire upper body while strengthening the back, shoulders, and chest. It is also a great yoga for abs. You must be careful though, as this pose can cause injury if not performed correctly.
2. Mountain Pose
This pose is a good pose for beginners. It is a basic pose that everyone should know about. The benefits include improved flexibility, increased strength, and better posture.
3. Cat/Cow Pose
This pose has been said to increase stamina and endurance. It is also a great pose for beginners.
4. Tree Pose
This pose involves bending forward and backwards over a straight line. It is a great pose for beginners who want to develop their abdominal muscles.
5. Seated Forward Bend
This pose includes several variations. It is a great stretch for the spine and legs. It is also good for reducing stress levels.
6. Standing Forward Bends
These poses are similar to the seated forward bend but require less effort. They are great yoga for hamstrings and lower back.
7. Supported Shoulder Stand
This is a great pose for those who are looking to tone their thighs and glutes. It is a great exercise for the core and strengthens the back.
8. Cobra Pose
This is a great pose for anyone who wants to build up their core, making it an effective yoga for belly fat as well. It is a great workout for the abdomen and back.
This pose is a great pose for improving balance and coordination. It is also a good pose for beginners who want a challenge.
10. Handstand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Handstands are challenging poses. If done incorrectly, they can result in serious injury. This pose is a great pose for building leg strength.
Alternative Activities To Gain Muscle Strength
Yoga is a form of exercise you can do to help you in your muscle strengthening journey and although there are things in yoga which can help a person gain muscle, this is not what yoga is for.
If you are wanting to use the skills you have learnt in yoga to help you gain muscle, there are other activities that you can do to gain muscle strength.
These include weight training, cardio workouts, and resistance exercises. All of these help strengthen your muscles.
Weight training is a form of physical activity that uses weights to increase or maintain muscle mass. It is considered one of the most effective ways to gain muscle mass.
However, it is important to note that weight training does not make you bulky. Instead, it makes you stronger by increasing the amount of force you can produce through your muscles.
The main types of weight training are free weights, such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, etc., and machines, such as weight benches, cable machines, and treadmills.
Free weights allow you to use more than one type of resistance at once, which means that you can train multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Machines usually only provide one type of resistance, so they're easier to use when you just need to focus on one area.
There are many different exercises that you can do using these tools. Some examples include:
These involve lifting a heavy weight from the floor to your knees, then lowering it back down again.
These involve raising a light weight above your head, then lunging forward with both feet while keeping the weight overhead.
These involve lifting a weight off the ground, then slowly lowering it until your chest touches the bar. Then you lift it back up again.
Cable Crunch Machine
This machine provides resistance by pulling cables attached to a pulley system. You simply lie flat on the pad and pull yourself towards the handle.
This involves running on an inclined treadmill. The incline allows you to run faster without having to work harder.
When choosing what kind of weight training equipment to buy, be sure to choose something that will fit into your home.
Also, consider how often you plan on doing this type of training. Do you have time to go to the gym every day? Or would you rather spend your time working out at home?
Is yoga made to build muscle? The answer to this is both a yes and a no. Whilst there are many activities and poses within yoga which test your strength, this is not the ultimate way to gain muscle.
Instead, yoga is a great way to help you on your muscle gaining journey.
If you are wanting to help build strength, yoga is a great activity to turn to. You will see a difference in your strength and muscle build in no time.