Yoga Before or After a Workout? The Most Important Things You Need To Know
If you are looking to enhance your workout and ensure that your routine is truly hitting on the points that you need it to, then you may consider the order in which you do certain exercises.
Yoga Before or After a Workout?
If you practice yoga but want to incorporate other types of exercise into your routine, then you should probably consider how to do that. So, should you do yoga before or after a workout?
There are different benefits of doing yoga at different points in a workout and it really depends on the benefits you are looking for.
This post is going to take a look at the benefits of doing yoga before a workout, as well as after one. It will also take a look at the benefits of doing yoga for your workout, some great poses to add to your workout, and how to add yoga to your workout routine. Let’s take a look.
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Yoga Before A Workout
Yoga is a great addition to any exercise routine. If you are wondering whether to add yoga in before your workout or after a workout, there are some things to consider. Let’s take a look at some reasons why yoga before your workout may be a good idea.
Warm-up your muscles.
When you start your workout with yoga, you can get your muscles warmed up and ready to start your workout. Working out with stiff, tight muscles can be dangerous because you can pull something. Yoga is a nice, easy way to loosen up your muscles and get you set up for your workout.
Get your heart rate up.
Rather than going into a heavy workout from zero, get your heart rate going and your body prepared for your workout. That way you can exercise harder without worrying about tiring out or pushing too hard.
Increase your stamina.
Yoga is a good way to increase your stamina so that you can work out longer and harder. Rather than going straight into a hard workout and only lasting for a little while, warm up with yoga and exercise for longer.
Yoga After A Workout
We’ve seen the benefits of doing yoga before a workout, but let’s take a look at how great yoga can be for after a workout. Here we have a few benefits of doing yoga after your workout.
Increase your oxygen supply.
Once you’ve completed a workout, regaining your oxygen supply is very important. It will help your muscles recover quickly and allow your heart rate to come down as well.
It is just as important to cool down as it is to warm up. Your muscles need a chance to recuperate from working so hard and yoga is a great way for them to do that. A slow and easy-flow is great for this.
Stretch your muscles.
Your body is extremely agile and can handle quite a lot. However, it is very important for you to stretch your muscles so that they can grow well. They will also be able to recover faster and healthier when they are stretched out well after a good workout. Yoga is the perfect way to do this.
Benefits Of Yoga For Your Workout
We’ve looked at options that involve adding yoga to your workout, but have you ever considered doing yoga for your workout? Perhaps you lift weights or do cardio for your usual workout, but maybe it’s time to switch things up.
Yoga is an amazing workout for anyone, no matter what type of workout you typically do. It can be beneficial to add yoga into your regular routine once or twice a week to switch things up. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of yoga for your workout.
It is a great way to wind down from a week of hard workouts.
While your normal workout may include weight lifting, cardio, HIIT, or other intense workouts, incorporating yoga into your workout routine once or twice a week is a great way to wind down and ensure that you are getting a great stretch in. When you work out intensely 3-4 days a week, your body needs a rest. While you may not want to take a full day or few days of rest, your body will greatly benefit from a much lower-impact workout.
Yoga is a wonderful way to stretch.
After a week of high-impact workouts, your body needs a good stretch. Your muscles may be sore as well. Stretching your muscles is a good way to reduce pain and stiffness and keep your body agile and healthy.
It can reduce the risk of injury.
By keeping your muscles long and limber, you can avoid the risk of injury when working out. If you work out often, you need to ensure that you keep them in good condition.
Suggested Yoga Poses To Benefit Your Workout
Now that we’ve seen how yoga can benefit your workout, let’s take a look at some specific poses that are a great off-set to high-impact exercise. These yoga poses can be added to a workout or can be practiced before or after. Some of them are better for before a workout and some are better for after, but they are all wonderful poses to help your body warm up and recuperate quickly.
This is a lovely stretch to relieve pain in the low back and core area. It is also a nice stretch to begin a workout because it can loosen up your spine, preparing it for a great workout.
How To Do The Cat/Cow Stretch Pose:
- Begin in a table top position (on your hands and knees with your shoulders directly over your wrists and hips directly over your knees).
- With an inhale, arch your back, open your chest and lift your gaze.
- With an exhale, curve your spine and drop your pelvis toward the floor, as well as dropping your gaze downward.
- Repeat for a few rounds of breath.
Reclined Pigeon Pose
This pose is an excellent way to open the hips and release lower body tension. This pose can be very beneficial after a workout to stretch out your hips, glutes, and lower back. It’s perfect after leg day.
How To Do The Reclined Pigeon Pose Pose
- Begin lying on your back and cross one ankle over the opposite knee.
- Thread your hands through your thighs and grab under your knee, gently pulling it in toward your chest.
- Repeat on the other side.
This is a wonderful pose for before, after, and even during a workout. It is a nice inner thigh stretch, but it is also a nice way to get your legs warmed up. It can also be a nice way to get a leg workout when included in a flow.
How To Do The Warrior II Pose
- Stand in mountain pose (feet hips width distance apart and back up straight).
- As you exhale, bring one of your legs back behind you, opening up your hips toward the side of your mat and turning your back foot to face the side of the mat while your front foot faces the front of the mat (feet should be perpendicular to one another).
- Bend your front knee to a 90 degree angle, keeping the back leg straight and engaged.
- Extend both arms out toward the front and back of your mat and keep your gaze over your front middle finger.
- Repeat on the other side.
This pose is perfect for after a workout. It is a great way to catch your breath and release any pressure in your back and shoulders.
How To Do The Child Pose
- Starting in table top position (on your hands and knees as mentioned above), bring your knees out wide (about the width of your mat) and your big toes together.
- As you exhale, sit back onto your heels and drop your forehead and chest toward your mat.
- Extend your arms out in front of you and relax, taking deep breaths.
This is a great warm-up for a workout. It gets the muscles in your legs fired up and ready to exercise.
How To Do The Pose
- Begin in mountain pose (as mentioned above).
- As you inhale, sit your hips back as if you were going to sit in a chair.
- Keep your chest lifted and make sure that your knees do not pass the point of your toes (make sure you can see your toes when you look down).
- You can either lift your arms overhead or bring your hands together in prayer pose.
What If Your Schedule Doesn’t Allow For Yoga After Cardio?
We all have extremely busy schedules nowadays, so even making time for a workout can be a hassle. So what do you do if your schedule doesn’t allow for yoga after cardio? Well, you combine the two!
There are some excellent ways to incorporate yoga into your cardio workout, or vice versa. There are several great cardio yoga flows that you can find just by searching on the internet. While some yoga is catered towards slow flows and breathwork, there are plenty of yoga poses and flows that can get your heart rate pumping.
Adding Yoga To Your Workout Routine
If you are looking for some ways to kick up your workout routine, then you should consider adding yoga either before or after your workout. Or even doing a full yoga flow once or twice a week instead of a high-intensity workout can be very advantageous to your workout routine. It gives your muscles a chance to rest and recuperate.
Switching up your workout every once in a while is a great way to ensure that all of your muscles get the chance to be used and worked out. Not to mention, yoga is a great way to relax your mind and unwind from a long week. If you won't know whether to do yoga before or after a workout, there are some things to consider:
- Do you want to use yoga to warm up? If you like yoga flows that are a bit faster and more difficult poses, then you might want to use it before you work out for a nice warm-up and to get your muscles fired up. It’s also a great way to get your blood pumping and heart rate up.
- Do you like yoga poses that are great stretches? There are some amazing yoga poses that can be perfect for after a workout. Work in some yoga poses after your workout to stretch your muscles out and help them recover quickly.
- Do you like to switch up your workout routine? If you are wondering whether to practice yoga before or after a workout, but you like to do different types of workouts, then perhaps you should consider replacing one of your weekly workouts (or more) with yoga.
Doing yoga before or after a workout depends on your needs. However, working it into your workout routine can be beneficial no matter when you do it. Consider fitting in some yoga into your workout routine.
Photo credit : Unsplash
Video credit : Youtube
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