Yoga for Strength Training: Should I Add Yoga to My Workout Routine?

At first glance, you might think yoga and strength training seem like an unlikely pair. In reality, they form the power duo you never knew you needed. Think of it as the yin and yang of your fitness journey – a combined routine that builds muscle and boosts your mobility, improving your performance in those heavy lifts and resistance workouts. So, if you want to elevate your strength training routine, yoga might be the game-changer you’ve been looking for.

What you will learn:

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

Benefits of Combining Yoga and Strength Training

Incorporating yoga into your strength training routine yields many benefits that positively impact your mind and body. Combining these two practices creates a holistic approach to fitness, enhancing various aspects of your overall well-being. As we dive into the following benefits, you’ll discover how integrating yoga can improve your flexibility, elevate your muscular endurance, speed up your recovery and even contribute to your mental health.

Yoga for Flexibility and Range of Motion

Yoga is renowned for improving flexibility, a critical factor in optimizing strength training performance. Improved flexibility translates to an expanded range of motion, allowing you to execute strength training exercises with better form and efficiency. Even simple poses like ragdoll or downward dog can improve your hamstring flexibility to crush those deadlifts with newfound ease and precision.

Yoga for Building Endurance

If you’ve ever wondered, “Does yoga build muscle?” the answer is yes! The deliberate movements in yoga can activate your slow-twitch muscle fibers, pivotal for sustained efforts in endurance activities like weight training. As these slow-twitch muscle fibers become more efficient, you can support more extended periods of weight or resistance training (i.e., more reps in your sets).

Yoga for Enhanced Recovery and Injury Prevention

Integrating yoga into your fitness routine introduces gentle stretches that alleviate muscle soreness and aid post-workout recovery. Carving out space for an active recovery practice like yoga can help you tackle your next strength training session with renewed energy and resilience.

Certain yoga poses, like chair pose, extend their benefits beyond recovery by actively fortifying joint stability. You’ll notice the importance of joint health when you engage in complex movements or lift heavier weights. Prioritizing the well-being of your joints can reduce the risk of strains and promote longevity in your strength training regimen.

Yoga for Mental Focus and Mindfulness

Yoga not only challenges your body but also engages your mind. Yoga emphasizes the mind-muscle connection that allows for precise and controlled movements. This heightened sensitivity and mindfulness you cultivate can help isolate and activate specific muscles more precisely, ensuring each pose or exercise becomes a deliberate and impactful step toward your strength training goals. Yoga also teaches mindful breathing techniques that can help with stress reduction and enhance concentration, which can translate into your strength training exercises and beyond.

How to Incorporate Yoga into Your Strength Training Routine

Navigating where to fit yoga into your already busy strength training schedule may be a challenge at first, especially if you’re a beginner. Thankfully, yoga is accessible to individuals of all skill levels! While starting with a yoga class is a great way to begin, some people might not know what to expect at their first yoga class.

The good news is that practicing yoga doesn’t solely revolve around classes; there are plenty of ways to integrate it into your current workout split. Here are a few simple ways to start incorporating yoga into your strength training routine:

  • Warm-up: Pre-strength training yoga sessions can serve as effective warm-ups, activating key muscle groups to promote better performance and reduce the risk of injury. Try pairing upper body strength training with a yoga-inspired warm-up, focusing on poses that complement and enhance shoulder and arm flexibility.
  • Add an extra strength challenge during your workout: Improve your strength and endurance by adding a few balancing poses at the end of your strength training exercises. On your next leg day, try holding a single-leg mountain pose after a workout like squats or lunges. This strategic combination tests your physical strength and enhances overall stability, contributing to a well-rounded fitness regimen.
  • Cool-Down: Post-strength training yoga is vital in cooling down and enhancing recovery. Following your usual strength training sessions, ease muscle tension with poses like the pigeon pose or happy baby. These stretches release tension, helping you avoid soreness and promoting flexibility.
  • Active Recovery: Weave in a dedicated yoga practice on active recovery days to soothe muscles and facilitate recovery, ensuring you’re primed for your next intense strength training session.


Yoga Workout Routine for Strength, Flexibility and Endurance

  1. Mountain Pose: Start standing tall with your feet together, arms by your side, engaging your core. Focus on steady breathing to center your mind.
  2. Downward Dog Pose: Transition from mountain pose to a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor. Walk your feet toward your hands, stopping when you feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Lengthen your spine, engage your core, stretch your arms and legs and press your heels toward the floor. Stay here for three breath cycles, breathing in for 4 seconds, holding at the top, and exhaling for 4 seconds more.
  3. High Plank Pose: Push your body forward from downward dog back to a high plank position, aligning your wrists under your shoulders. Engage your core and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold for 1-2 breaths.
  4. Upward Dog Pose: Lower your upper body from high plank pose to a hovering pushup position. In yoga, we call this pose chaturanga. After holding for 2-3 seconds, transition to upward dog to stretch your core. To find upward dog, lift your chest, roll your shoulders back and engage your thighs while keeping your arms straight. Stay here for as long as you like, focusing on stretching your core.
  5. Back to Downward Dog Pose: Transition from upward dog back to downward dog. Focus on lengthening the spine and breathing deeply. Stay here for one or two breath cycles.
  6. High Crescent Pose: Lift your right leg from downward dog and step it forward between your hands. With your right knee bent, begin to lift your torso and reach your arms overhead. Stay here as long as you like, focusing on deepening the stretch in your left hip flexors.
  7. Warrior II Pose: From high crescent pose, open your hips and shoulders to the left side, extending your arms parallel to the floor. Keep your core tight and reach your fingertips further apart from each other. Take three deep breaths here before moving into the next pose.
  8. Extended Side Angle Pose: From warrior II, begin to reach your right arm forward while keeping your core tight. When you can’t reach any further, extend your right arm to the floor. Stop here or challenge your core stability by reaching your left arm overhead to form a straight line from your left to your right fingertips. Hold for 1-2 breath cycles.
  9. Return to Mountain Pose: From extended side angle pose, flow back through downward dog, plank, chaturanga, and upward dog. Ground yourself in mountain pose before repeating steps 4-7 on the other side.
  10. Cool Down with Happy Baby Pose: After you’ve completed the flow on both sides, lie on your back and bring your knees toward your chest. Grab your feet and gently rock side to side to massage your spine and stretch your hamstrings.
  11. Shavasana (Corpse Pose): Conclude the flow by lying on your back, arms by your sides with your palms facing up. Allow the body to relax completely, absorbing the benefits of the practice.


Find Harmony in Your Strength Training Journey at EōS

Now that you’re equipped with insights on the transformative pairing of yoga and strength training, it’s time to apply this knowledge to enhance your current routine. At EōS, we invite you to discover the benefits of a combined yoga and strength training routine with a Free 7-Day Pass.

This exclusive pass grants you access to our state-of-the-art strength training facilities and opens the door to various Group Fitness Classes for all skill levels. Explore the diverse range of our mind, body, & stretch Group Fitness Classes available, from restorative traditional classes to dynamic vinyasa flows. Elevate your strength training routine today and sign up for your FREE 7-day pass at EōS!


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