A great debate has developed in the fitness and exercise industries in recent years, one that pits the popularity of weight training against the new-age discipline of yoga. So which is better, weight training or yoga? The two camps rarely cross paths in the gym, with the weight-pumpers putting in their time on the machines and the downward-doggers stretching in the exercise rooms.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, at Custom Kinetics, the two disciplines can peacefully co-exist and bring a healthy balance to your workout routine. By practicing yoga and weight training, the yin and yang of the exercise world, you can experience a more centered workout and strike a balance of true fitness.
According to WatchFit, people tend to rely one exercise program to fulfill all their fitness needs, and that’s a mistake if overall health and reaching one’s maximum potential are factored. Instead of “either or,” consider saying “yes” to both for a well-rounded workout routine.
Pros and Cons of Weight Training
The common knock on weight training is that while it may help produce more muscle mass, the benefits are more for show and less for total fitness. While there may be a few guys out there with bulging biceps who couldn’t complete a 5K if their lives depended on it, that blanket statement is a stereotype that ignores the many benefits.
According to LiveStrong, weight training provides more health benefits than just looking and feeling good. The strengthening of muscles improves our ability to perform numerous everyday tasks more efficiently, like carrying in the groceries or taking out the trash, as well as boosting your metabolism and increasing energy levels.
The drawback of focusing solely on weight training is a loss of flexibility from the constantly contracting target muscles. While stronger muscles can ease much of the pressure we put on our joints, spine, pelvic floor and connective tissues, they can also limit range of motion in particular joints and put undue stress on key skeletal systems that can lead to long-term pain and discomfort.
Pros and Cons of Yoga
Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years because it incorporates the one body part that rarely gets attention in workout routines – the mind. Performing yoga not only brings some peace to those who have discovered self-awareness through the exercise, but it also offers other physical benefits like improved breathing and increased flexibility.
Another misconception is that yoga cannot be considered weight training, although those who have tried it will tell you differently. Yoga involves some intense postures and positions that also serve as strength enhancing exercises. The only difference is that weights training involves kettlebells, while yoga uses gravity and your own weight to tone muscle mass.
The only downside to yoga is that participants are limited to their own body mass for weight training, while you can set the desired weight and resistance levels in weight lifting. Yoga can also add stress to joints, particularly those weight-bearing areas that require stronger muscles to lighten the load. Again, too much of a good thing can be a bad one.
Weight Training or Yoga? More Like, Weight Training AND Yoga
That’s right, not “or” or “vs.” but “and” is the answer. By using the combination of weight training to strengthen muscles and yoga to increase flexibility, blood flow and breathing, dual workouts complement one another to achieve the goal of total fitness. A body that participates in both will find a happy balance and a better state of mind.
For instance, weight lifters may discover that increased flexibility provides them with an improved workout on the weights, while yoga students may see the benefits of weight lifting also pay dividends on the mat. A well-rounded workout can include a mix of both disciplines, maybe one three days a week and the other two days per week.
The experts at Custom Kinetics can help you discover the benefits of crossing over to the other side for an all-around workout that benefits body, mind and spirit. Let us help you design a complete and total workout using both weight training and yoga for an all-around happier and healthier you.