Yes, you can do Yoga and gym together (by gym workouts we mean strength training sessions). However, if you want to do them on the same day, it would depend on a few factors including the holding time for poses, the type of Yoga practice, etc. which we’ll get into later in this article.
Why Gym and Yoga Are Complementary Fitness Disciplines
Even though Yoga and strength training are almost at opposite ends of the exercise spectrum, there are several ways in which one discipline beautifully complements the other.
1. Builds strength
Believe it or not, gym workouts can actually help you perform those complex Yoga poses better!
For instance, when you do gym workouts for the core such as Russian twists you’ll be in a better position to perform the Warrior 3 or Tree pose.
When you build strength in your upper body, it helps you maintain proper alignment and form in Yoga poses such as the Crow pose or Downward Dog pose.
2. Improves your breathing technique
Ever held your breath while trying to push that barbell overhead? Well, Yoga can help with that!
Practicing Yoga helps you become more mindful of your breathing which is very important in strength training as it helps to improve your lifts and muscular endurance and aids in quicker recovery.
Yoga breathing techniques such as Ujjayi breath or Kapalbhati can help you control your breath and stay focused during challenging exercises.
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3. Enhances flexibility
Most gym workouts tend to put stress on muscles and joints, leading to tightness and reduced flexibility.
Since Yoga focuses on stretching and lengthening muscles, it improves your flexibility (as evidenced by this study) and reduces muscle stiffness.
4. Improves joint mobility
Yoga poses, such as forward folds and twists can help to release tight muscles and improve joint mobility, making it easier to perform gym workouts with a full range of motion and prevent injuries.
5. Pumps up your mind-muscle connection
Science shows that a strong mind-muscle connection is crucial if you want to see real gains in the weight room. And if there’s one form of exercise that can really help boost your mind-muscle connection, it is Yoga.
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Can we do Yoga and Gym together on the same day?
If you want to do Yoga and gym together on the same day, it is a good idea to do your Yoga after your strength training session as Yoga poses could cause your muscles to tire out (more on that below).
In case you want to do Yoga before your gym workout, we recommend having at least a few hours between both sessions, say a morning and evening session.
Another factor to consider is the type of Yoga practice. If you plan on doing a restorative Yoga session, it is alright to do it on the same day as your gym workout. You could also do it on your rest days as part of your active recovery session.
But if you plan on doing a more intense Yoga session, then it is best to do your gym workouts and Yoga sessions on alternate days to allow for rest and recovery.
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Can we do Yoga and Gym together?
Wondering how to do yoga and gym together? Wanna know if you should do Yoga before or after gym?
Let’s break it down for you!
Using Yoga as a warm-up to your gym workout
When you do Yoga before your gym workout, it is important to choose poses that focus on active mobility that help correct muscle imbalances and decrease your chances of injury during your gym workout.
Remember to hold your Yoga poses only for a short time of 6-10 seconds. Holding poses for longer than this will tire your muscles and weaken them, leading to an ineffective gym workout.
Yoga poses to do at the gym for warm-up
- Forward folds
- Cat-cow pose
- Cobra pose
- Boat pose
- Warrior flow
Using Yoga as a cool-down after your gym workout
When you do Yoga after your gym workout, focus on restorative and static stretching to relieve muscle tension and prevent soreness.
Focus on longer holding times of around 45-60 seconds for your cool-down poses to reap the benefits.
Yoga poses to do at the gym for cool-down
- Pigeon pose
- Bridge pose
- Child’s pose
- Downward facing dog
- Supine spinal twist
As you can see, Yoga and gym workouts complement each other perfectly and when combined can give you a complete fitness routine to achieve all your fitness goals.