Can Yoga Replace Strength Training?

by Nisha Gulati

If you are seeking a functional way to increase muscle tone and strength with the desire of a lean, agile body, then yoga is an apt replacement for strength training. We discuss how both practices work differently to achieve similar goals, but produce varied results.

Yoga vs Strength Training
Much like bodyweight exercises at the gym, yoga requires you to lift your own weight with the support of muscles when assuming different postures.

On the flip-side, if you want to build bulk and isolate particular areas of the body, then yoga alone cannot be the answer. While putting the two practices together would bring out the most optimal results, strength training is the one that will particularly help you beef up significantly.

Advantage Strength Training
Remember, strength training requires one to imbibe the opposite principles of yoga when building muscle strength. The technique is known as isolation, and it is often also referred to as concentric muscle contraction.

This type of contraction, causes muscles to get smaller when they are worked upon, and since stretching is not involved, the muscle fibers repair in closer proximity to one another. This is what leads to bulging muscles that are flaunted by some actors and body builders.

Advantage Yoga
The best part of using yoga as your sole routine is that you are less prone to injury. Your body utilizes all your muscles, allowing them to simultaneously stretch as they contract. This lengthens your muscles, re-aligns your body, and enhances your overall flexibility.

Common Ground
Both practices are a great way to sculpt the body and add definition, although the end result of a person who has been consistently practicing yoga and a person who has been weight training is visually very different. While the former is more linear and leaner, the latter is more compact, broad-built and pumped up.

Either way, they both require you to step up your skill and move beyond the basic practice of techniques.

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