9 ways yoga and strength training work together for optimal fitness

There’s a common misconception that yoga and strength training are two separate worlds in the fitness realm.

But that’s not entirely true.

You see, these two practices can actually complement each other to help you achieve optimal fitness.

Yoga helps improve flexibility and balance while strength training builds muscle and endurance.

Combine the two, and you’ve got a holistic approach to fitness that covers all bases.

In this article, I’ll share 9 ways yoga and strength training can work together to help you reach your fitness peaks.

1) Balanced approach

Let’s begin with the most fundamental aspect – balance.

Fitness isn’t just about how much weight you can lift or how far you can run.

It’s also about having a well-rounded routine that promotes overall wellness.

Think of yoga and strength training as two sides of the same coin.

While strength training targets your muscle groups to increase power and endurance, yoga works on your flexibility and stability.

This combination ensures a balanced fitness regimen that conditions the body to be strong, flexible, and agile.

The beautiful thing is, you don’t have to choose between the two.

Combining yoga and strength training gives you the best of both worlds, enhancing your physical abilities while promoting inner calm and mindfulness.

2) Personal flexibility gains

I’ll let you in on a little secret from my own fitness journey.

A few years ago, I hit a plateau with my strength training routine.

I was lifting heavier, but I wasn’t seeing the progress I wanted.

My body felt rigid, and movements that should have been easy felt strained.

That’s when I decided to incorporate yoga into my routine.

Initially, I was skeptical.

But as I started practicing yoga regularly, I noticed significant changes.

My flexibility improved drastically, allowing me to perform strength training exercises with a greater range of motion.

Suddenly, those strained movements became easier, and I felt stronger and more capable.

Integrating yoga into my strength training routine broke my fitness plateau and opened up a new realm of physical abilities for me.

Now, I can’t imagine one without the other.

It’s a powerful combination that has given me the best results in my fitness journey.

3) Enhanced recovery

One major benefit of coupling yoga with strength training is how it supports your recovery process.

After an intense strength training session, lactic acid builds up in your muscles.

This is often the culprit behind those post-workout aches and pains.

Yoga, known for its restorative properties, can help expedite the removal of this lactic acid.

The stretching movements in yoga increase blood flow to your muscles, which helps flush out lactic acid faster and aids in quicker muscle recovery.

Not only does this mean less discomfort after your workouts, but it also allows you to train more frequently without risking overuse injuries.

It’s a win-win situation for your fitness goals!

4) Mental strength

Let’s not forget the mental game.

Fitness is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one.

Strength training requires focus and determination to push through those last few reps.

Similarly, yoga demands mental clarity to hold challenging poses and concentrate on your breath.

When you combine these two disciplines, you’re not just working on your physical strength.

You’re also cultivating a strong mindset that can help you overcome obstacles, both in the gym and in life.

In other words, pairing yoga and strength training equips you with the mental fortitude to take on any challenge that comes your way.

5) Improved posture

We live in a world where slumping over a computer or hunching over a phone is the norm.

This can lead to poor posture, which often results in back pain and other health problems.

Here’s where the combination of yoga and strength training can be a game-changer.

Strength training, especially exercises that target your core and back muscles, can help improve your posture by promoting better alignment and muscle balance.

Pair that with yoga, which emphasizes alignment and body awareness, and you’ve got a powerful formula for combating the desk slouch.

Together, they can help you stand taller, sit straighter, and move with more grace and confidence.

6) Cultivating self-love and body positivity

Embarking on a fitness journey isn’t just about transforming your body, it’s also about transforming your relationship with yourself.

In the world of fitness, it can be easy to fall into a cycle of self-criticism, always striving for the ‘perfect’ physique.

But that’s not what true fitness is about.

Incorporating yoga into your strength training routine offers a refreshing perspective.

Yoga teaches us to appreciate our bodies for their strength and capability, not just their appearance.

It helps us cultivate self-love and foster a positive body image.

Couple this with the confidence gained from strength training, and you’re on your way to building not just a stronger body, but also a healthier relationship with yourself.

Because at the end of the day, fitness is about celebrating what your body can do and loving it every step of the way.

7) Learning patience and perseverance

I remember when I first started my fitness journey.

I was eager to see results and would often find myself frustrated when progress seemed slow.

When I began incorporating yoga into my strength training routine, my approach to fitness changed.

Yoga taught me the importance of patience.

It reminded me that progress isn’t always linear and that it’s okay to have off days.

At the same time, strength training showed me the value of perseverance.

Even when the weights felt heavy and the reps seemed endless, pushing through taught me resilience.

This blend of patience from yoga and perseverance from strength training has not only improved my fitness but also spilled over into other areas of my life.

It’s a constant reminder that every journey has its ups and downs, but with patience and perseverance, we can achieve our goals.

8) Boosting body awareness

Understanding your body’s strengths, limitations, and movement patterns is a critical part of any fitness routine.

Strength training is excellent for building body awareness, as it requires you to focus on your form and engage specific muscle groups during each exercise.

Add yoga to the mix, and you’re taking body awareness to a whole new level.

Yoga encourages you to tune into how your body feels and moves, helping you become more mindful of your alignment, breathing, and overall physical presence.

Together, yoga and strength training can significantly enhance your body awareness, making your workouts more effective while reducing the risk of injury.

9) A holistic approach to fitness

The most important thing you should know is that combining yoga and strength training offers a holistic approach to fitness.

It’s not just about building muscle or increasing flexibility.

It’s about nurturing your mind and body in a balanced, sustainable way.

It’s about respecting your body’s limits while also challenging it to grow stronger and more capable.

This synergy of yoga and strength training can lead to a healthier, happier you, inside and out. And at the end of the day, that’s what true fitness is all about.

It’s about harmony

Peeling back the layers of fitness, we begin to understand that it’s not just about physical prowess but about achieving a harmonious balance between the mind and body.

Consider the ancient practice of yoga.

Rooted in mindfulness and introspection, yoga encourages us to listen to our bodies, to breathe in synchronicity with our movements, and to cultivate a sense of inner peace.

On the other hand, strength training is often associated with power and endurance, pushing our physical limits, and building resilience.

When we merge these two seemingly different practices, we create a beautiful fusion that caters to our overall well-being.

Yoga and strength training aren’t just complementary; they’re symbiotic.

Each brings something unique to the table, and when combined, they offer a comprehensive approach to fitness that nurtures us physically and mentally.

Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

The latest Move news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.