Finding novel ways to revitalize your workout routine and get results can be a challenge. Blending different types of exercises can keep your workouts exciting and help you maximize your results. Try these yoga and strength training combos to stay limber and build muscle too.
Chaturanga is a pose associated with the Vinyasa school of yoga. A lot of routines have you moving past the pose quickly, but you can hold this pose for longer to increase the strength-building benefits.
Chaturanga is like a hybrid push-up and plank, so it’s the perfect option for a core workout to get you beach-ready. Try increasing this move during your routine or holding the pose longer to up the strength training benefits. You can also do sets of Chaturanga push-ups; do ten, then rest in Child’s Pose for thirty seconds, and repeat for three or more sets.
Waterfall Pose plus Leg Raise
You might not like the way this combo feels, but you’ll love the way it makes you look. Waterfall pose is deceptively difficult — it strengthens the core, and the leg raises work your abs and legs, so combining these two will leave you toned and tired.
Try holding waterfall pose for 30 seconds to a minute, then lower your legs slowly to the ground to reset. Instead of going back into waterfall pose, perform a set of 10 leg raises; lower your legs to the ground, rest, and then go to waterfall pose again. It won’t take too many sets for you to work out your core entirely, so don’t push too hard. If you see your form failing on either exercise, stop, rest, and move on to another muscle group or pose — we’re aiming for endurance here, not total exhaustion.
Warrior Pose plus Lateral Raise
Warrior pose is one of the yoga poses that tricks you with its simplicity, but we’ve all felt the burn in our arms during this pose. It’s versatile because while it works out the legs, the shoulders also get a workout.
If you want a real challenge, try this: in Warrior Pose, with wrist weight bands added, move your arms down and then back up. Don’t go above where you would usually raise your arms, though. This is called a lateral raise, and it’s a common weightlifting move to work the shoulders.
If anyone tells you yoga isn’t good for strength and is just stretching, ask them to do a yoga handstand. The handstand isn’t an easy pose; it strengthens all the upper body. It requires balance and usually weeks if not months of training to do for the first time. It’s worth the practice, though, because nothing is more fun than your first successful handstand.
If you’ve got the handstand down, go for the super-yoga-strength-training combo of handstand push-ups. At this point, we assume you’re kind of the yoga version of The Hulk, so congrats.
Cuff Weights and Yoga
Another way to increase your strength while practicing yoga is to add weights. Yoga uses your body weight as resistance, but you can add small wrist and ankle weights to up the intensity. Try adding some leg weights to Warrior Pose or Half Moon Pose. Just remember only to bump up the weights once you’ve perfected the pose beforehand.