About the series
The Yoga 15 Strength series is designed to build muscular strength and endurance in a strategic and balanced way. The videos cycle through upper body, lower body and core workouts that become increasingly difficult as you progress through the series.
You can download the full series or individual Strength routines here: vimeo.com/ondemand/yogastrengthchallenge
Benefits of strength training
Being strong is essential in every sport but aches, pains and injuries can occur when repetitive movement patterns cause muscular imbalances. For example, mountain bikers have over-developed quads and weak glutes and climbers build strength in their upper back and shoulders in preference to their chest and triceps.
Here are some of the main benefits of strength training and the unique advantages to including yoga in your training program.
- 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 improves 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 your sport.
- Yoga strengthens the deep 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 multiple different planes of motion.
- 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.
- Strengthens the feet, legs, glutes, back, shoulders, arms and hands.
- Stretches the hip flexors, abs, 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 full 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 spine allows for significant movement.
Each joint has to provide adequate stability while maintaining sufficient mobility to maximise function and performance.
The sequences in the Strength series train joint stability and mobility simultaneously, decreasing susceptibility to injury and increasing agility, power and speed.
Take the Strength Challenge
You can DOWNLOAD the Yoga 15 Strength series here:
And FOLLOW me on Instagram @yoga15abi for more free resources to help you increase your muscular strength and endurance.