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Effective Methods for Integrating Yoga

How to Incorporate Yoga into Your Workout Routine

How do I incorporate yoga into my existing workout routine? How do I fit yoga into my workout schedule? These are common questions many athletes ask since there’s only so many hours in the day and only so much your body can take in terms of exercise. This blog tells you the multiple ways you can incorporate yoga into your existing workout routine, or how to create a new workout plan to include yoga. I’ll cover:

Benefits of Yoga For Cross-Training

This article is for YOU, the person that likes yoga but still wants to do their other workouts such as weight training or cardio. Cross-training is the best way to maintain optimal fitness since every exercise or sport has its benefits.  That’s why it’s important to make sure you are combining yoga with other forms of fitness, including cardio, resistance training, swimming, sports, etc to achieve the best physique and performance.

Many activities such as weight training, running, and cycling cause your muscles to tense up and ultimately lead to pain or discomfort. However, cross-training with yoga can help to relieve this tightness and lower your risk of injury as you incorporate it into your workout routine.

Fitness focused yoga like in Man Flow yoga is great for:

However, yoga does NOT adequately address some other factors of fitness:

  • Speed up your metabolism
  • Strengthen your heart (your cardiovascular ability)
  • Significantly grow muscle (yoga will help you grow muscle, but it will not make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  • Strengthen posterior upper body muscles (it lacks pulling exercises like rows or pull-ups)
  • Build explosive power (such as that required for quickly pushing, pulling, jumping, sprinting, etc)

Now that you know what yoga can and cannot do, here are some ways that you can work yoga into your workout routine.

4 Ways to Incorporate Yoga into Your Workout Routine

Yoga as A Cool-Down

One of the best ways to include yoga into your workout is following your main workout. This would be a restorative light workout (lasting 15-30 minutes) to help reduce soreness and maximize muscle growth.

  • The goals here are to:
    • relax and lengthen muscles to reduce tightness the following day
    • reduce the risk of soft-tissue injuries from overtraining

The focus here is on typically restorative stretches, such as Pigeon, Lizard (knee down), and Downward-Facing Dog, instead of strength-building exercises like Plank, Warrior 2, and Chair Pose.

Yoga as A Warm-up

A short yoga primer (lasting anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes) immediately followed by a weight training session, calisthenics training, practice, or game. This is a great way to warm-up to avoid injury and get you ready to maximize your main workout.

  • The goals here are to:
    • activate the muscles in the body so that you can fully utilize all the muscles needed in full-body movements
    • properly align the body to exercise without imbalances or improper form
    • “warm-up” muscles to reduce the risk of injury (so that you aren’t working out with poor form)

Poses should last no more than 30 seconds to avoid fatiguing the muscles. These are typically slightly harder poses such as Plank, Warrior 2, Side Bends.

Yoga As A Stand Alone Workout

How to incorporate yoga into your workout warrior 3

A yoga workout on its own (with the yoga workout lasting 30 – 60 minutes), done the day before cardio, a weight training workout, or sports practice.

  • The goals here are to:
    • Address imbalances in the body, such as a weak or inflexible side of your body stemming from repeated movements in one direction or favoring a dominant side
    • Improve range of motion and build strength within this range of motion (getting deeper into a pose and then holding it to teach your body that it can exert force while it is at that expanded range)
    • Improve core strength and core integration in full-body movements (using your core more to prevent injuries to your spine)
    • Improve your balance

Exercises here can last more than 30 seconds, which allows your muscles to lengthen more as you progressively increase your depth in the pose, and also leads to muscle fatigue (which promotes muscle growth!) This workout usually includes more challenging poses and balancing poses such as Warrior 3, Standing Bow, and Dolphin.

Yoga in The Morning to Compliment An Evening Workout

How to incorporate yoga into your workout warrior 2

A morning yoga workout leading up to an evening workout or game, lasting 20 – 45 minutes and mostly focusing on deep, restorative stretching.

  • The goals here are to:
    • Lightly fatigue the body by activating muscles just to the point where muscle burn sets in (far from the point of muscle failure)
    • Properly align the body for the day
    • Soothe and lengthen tight, aggravated muscles
    • Prepare the body for activity later in the day

Poses here should last no more than 30 seconds to avoid fatiguing the muscles significantly. The workout should start with warm-up poses like Low Lunge, Child’s Pose, Cat-cow, and Bird-dog, progress to more intense poses like Warrior 1, Warrior 2, and Downward-Facing Dog, and then conclude with restorative stretches like Pigeon, Lizard, and Needle Thread.

Take-Aways about Incorporating Yoga into Your Workout Routine

Yoga can be extremely effective as a primary form of fitness or complementarily incorporated in your workout routine, but doing too much exercise can actually limit improvements in physical fitness or muscular atrophy (aka gainz). Try to incorporate these tips to fit yoga into your workout schedule to maximize your efficiency and get as strong as you can, while getting the body that you want!

Enjoy this information!? Get the tools and the resources you need to start implementing everything above by taking a look at my #1 bestselling eBook, Yoga Basics for Men, available in PDF format on the Man Flow Yoga online store, or on Amazon Kindle.

Looking For A Program?

If you’re interested in starting a yoga program with Man Flow Yoga to gain strength, flexibility, and mobility, BUT don’t know where to start, we got you covered. Give our FREE 7-Day Challenge a try. Sign-up below!

Signup for the FREE 7-Day Challenge

Additional Resources

You might be interested in learning how to start a yoga practice as a beginner, how yoga and weight training compliment each other, or working out from home, so check out these 3 blogs!

About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.

Dean Pohlman is an E-RYT 200 certified yoga instructor and the founder of Man Flow Yoga. Dean is widely considered to be an authority on Yoga for Men. He has worked with physical therapists to create yoga programs for back health and spinal recovery. His workouts and programs have been used by professional and collegiate athletes, athletic trainers, and personal trainers; and have been recommended by physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals.

Dean is a successfully published author through DK Publishing (Yoga Fitness for Men), selling 35,000 copies worldwide in English, French, and German; in addition to being a co-producer of the Body by Yoga DVD Series, which has sold over 40,000 copies on Amazon since its release in 2016.

Man Flow Yoga has been featured in Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Mens’ Health, The Chicago Sun, New York Magazine, and many more major news media outlets.

Dean And Dog

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