Yoga For Strength

Yoga For Strength

“The best strategy is always to be very strong.” Carl Von Clausewitz

The STRENGTH series is designed to build muscular strength and endurance in a strategic and integrated way. The videos cycle through upper body, lower body and core workouts that get increasingly difficult as you progress through the series.

BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING

Here are some of the main benefits of strength training:

  • Strength training builds strong connective tissues, tendons and ligaments.
  • Strength training stabilises the joints.
  • Strength training improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system.
  • Strength training increases bone density.
  • Strength training boosts metabolism and promotes fat loss.
  • Strength training improves blood sugar control.
  • Strength training improves balance, reducing susceptibility to falls and injury.
  • Strength training can relieve muscular and joint pain.
  • Strength training improves focus and concentration.
  • Strength training relieves stress and improves mood.
  • Strength training improves posture.
  • Strength training builds confidence.
ADVANTAGES OF TRAINING STRENGTH WITH YOGA
  • Yoga simultaneously builds strength, increases flexibility and restores mobility.
  • Yoga also trains balance which is an important indicator of functional strength.
  • Yoga recruits entire muscle groups as opposed to focussing on isolated body parts.
  • Yoga integrates multiple muscle groups to work together.
  • Yoga strengthens muscle groups under-utilised in mountain biking.
  • Yoga strengthens the core stabiliser muscles.
  • Yoga incorporates isometric, eccentric and concentric movements.
  • Yoga is neurologically demanding, involving complicated combinations of poses that require a high level of focus and concentration.
  • Yoga involves all planes of motion—forward and back, lateral and rotation.
  • Yoga is not demanding on the joints and should therefore not cause exercise-related pain.
  • Yoga can be done anywhere with minimal equipment.
  • Yoga encourages greater body awareness.
  • Practicing barefoot strengthens the muscles in the feet, arches, ankles and lower legs and improves balance.
  • Yoga recognises the importance of the breath in building strength.
  • Yoga is endlessly variable which leads to greater compliance.
  • Yoga reduces your risk of injury by strengthening weak, under-used muscles and creating a more balanced and functional overall strength.
BALANCING STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY

In yoga, strength is always combined with flexibility. Take Wheel for example—an advanced backbend.

Wheel Pose

Benefits
  • Strengthens the feet, hamstrings, glutes, back, shoulders, arms and hands.
  • Stretches the quads, hip flexors, abs, intercostals, chest, arms and wrists.
  • Increases spinal and shoulder mobility.
BALANCING STABILITY AND MOBILITY

Traditional strength training can be incredibly effective at building muscular strength and increasing joint stability but weakness and imbalance become apparent when this is not combined with sufficient muscular flexibility and joint mobility.

In each joint, there are parts that are stable and parts that are mobile. For example:

  • The sacroiliac joint is built for minimal movement whereas the ‘ball and socket’ hip joint allows for extensive range of motion.
  • Parts of the shoulder are stable and others are mobile, depending on their role.
  • The lumbar spine is primarily stable, whereas the thoracic and cervical spine allow for more range of motion.

Each joint has to provide adequate stability while maintaining sufficient mobility to maximise function and performance.

WHO SHOULD DO THE STRENGTH SERIES?

The sequences in this series build strength, endurance, power, speed and improve body control.

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