Yesterday after teaching my yoga class, I was talking with a friend/student about the transition from Chaturanga into Upward Facing Dog. I was holding the Chaturanga (Think of a midway pushup where your elbows are 90 degrees) for awhile as I was discussing the form and she mentioned the strength to hold it. I told her that I actually strength train for my yoga practice. That is what inspired this article.
I believe that EVERYONE needs to strength train. You heard the drill: women won’t bulk up, it increases your metabolism, yada yada yada, blah blah. Well, guess what? That is all TRUE. We all NEED to build some muscle. But we all don’t need to train like a bodybuilder either.
When I competed in Figure three years ago, I did train for bodybuilding. But that was because that was my sport. Now it isn’t. My ‘sports’ now are Yoga and Running. Yoga as my priority. So my training is prioritized to strengthen my body for my practice and to make me a more efficient and faster runner.
I still do a ‘bodybuilder split’ and that is because I like to focus a lot of exercise to each body part and it also fits into my schedule nicely so that I have 48hrs at least between muscles. So, I focus on shoulder stability, functional core, Pilates, and single leg exercises. I do train my entire body except for chest (later) but the exercises I choose are designed to meet my own needs.
When I take on a new client, I make sure to ask what they do for activities. For example, when I was living in Westchester I trained a lot of Golf players. I focused on rotational exercise for them as well as shoulder and hip stability while also training the entire body.
If you are brand new to strength training though, you will start with a basic full body workout designed to build your core and to add strength and then move on from that baseline.
So, the reason I do not train chest… I do yoga almost daily with a strong Vinyasa practice. That is a LOT of pushups. Plus I don’t feel the need to train muscles that are naturally very tight already. For my body I need to open the chest more and strengthen the back. Strength training and stretching is a powerful combination to overcome imbalances.
If you are local and see me training at the gym (I train at quite a few), hit me up with any questions. Or email me at email@example.com . My goal is to get more people to strength train and pick up the weights or kettles or bands. Whether at the gym or in your house. I can also recommend some great at-home options too. Regardless of your gender or age you do need to strength train.