Do Yoga On Your Days Off From Lifting
The techniques learned in one are totally applicable in the other.
A life steered by stress is a hard life to live. That’s why it’s important to manage stress and indulge in the activities that lessen its effect on your state of mind. According to research conducted by the Mayo Clinic, stress has been linked to depression, anxiety, heart disease, sleeping problems, weight gain, and memory loss—six inhibitions on life that may be avoided if you take the time to understand and manage your stress.
One of the biggest stress-relievers is yoga—a meditation and stretching practice that helps the human body in a plurality of ways. Yoga is also great for weightlifters, mainly because a lot of the principles and practices taught in yoga can be carried over into the lifting sphere. Below are a few examples of techniques learned in yoga that may be as well utilized during a lifting routine.
Practice Deep and Steady Breathing
Breathing exercises are great: they’re subtle, good for you, and you can do them virtually anywhere. You’ve noticed fluctuations in your breathing before, depending on how you were feeling at the time. The next time your heart begins to race and your breathing begins to accelerate with it, try this: inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold the breath for seven seconds, and then release the air over the course of eight seconds. It’s important as well to imagine the air exiting your as if it were a wave—a steady stream of forceful wind. Picturing this in your head will help you develop better breathing techniques, and you should have better luck slowing down your heart rate. Weightlifters could benefit exponentially by implementing these breathing techniques into their workouts—after all, it’s oxygen that keeps your muscles going to begin with.
Focus Is Essential
Because a lot of the movements in yoga are complex and multifaceted, individuals are required to focus diligently on very specific motions in order to execute a full pose with precision. This emphasis on focus is one of the main things that makes yoga so stimulating for the mind—when your brain is locked on doing one specific thing, it makes it nearly impossible for stressful thoughts and emotions to penetrate that wall of concentration. Weightlifters as well can significantly benefit from the use of unwavering focus. For example; a lifter is set to do 10 reps on the bench, but because he focuses on something other than the unimaginable strain on his arm muscles, he is able to push out two to three more reps than he planned on.
Understanding Balance and Its Relation to Your Body
Individuals who practice yoga are taught very early on how to focus on their center of gravity. In fact, after just a few sessions, most are able to execute tree pose. It would behoove weightlifters to study the balance techniques that are employed in yoga, for proper application in their sport would have a plurality of benefits.