The Relationship Between Weightlifting and Yoga
by USA Weightlifting
The Relationship Between Weightlifting and Yoga
Weightlifting is one of the most challenging sports in the world. It involves dedication, training, strength, technique, and more. There are many different ways to train and improve Weightlifting abilities, many of which are common practices within the sport. However, there are certain things that are not related to Weightlifting at all that can help to improve your performance.
One such thing is yoga. In this article, we’ll look at the relationship between Weightlifting and yoga and see how the two practices impact one another.
Weightlifting and Yoga
There are many different activities and exercises that can be used to help you train for the sport that you play. One example is NFL football players taking ballet classes to help improve areas like precise footwork, balance, core strength, flexibility, and more. While ballet is a completely different practice than professional football, the skills and strengths that athletes develop by practicing ballet directly translate to increased abilities and improved performance on the football field.
Another surprising connection is between yoga and Weightlifting, with yoga being a great complement to your weight training program. Here are some of the benefits of practicing yoga for weightlifters:
Yoga strengthens different muscle groups that you may not always use during your Weightlifting training. Yoga can also help you strengthen these muscles without putting too much stress on them, which can help you to avoid injuries and other issues during your training. This helps to build all the different muscle groups in your body safely, which can also benefit your Weightlifting capabilities.
Yoga also teaches you how to control your breathing, which can be incredibly useful when performing different lifts like the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. When you can control your breathing, you can help to calm your body and mind. This allows you to put yourself in the best position to compete where you are in full control of your body and how it feels. This ultimately improves your performance when Weightlifting. Learning how to focus and calm your mind is not only important when competing in Weightlifting events, but is also incredibly beneficial in your everyday life.
Yoga also involves performing many different kinds of stretches, which help to loosen, strengthen, and stabilize the various muscles and parts of your body you use when exercising. This can help avoid injuries, cramps, and other issues that come from physical activity. It can specifically help to improve your Weightlifting performance by increasing your range of motion and keeping all the different parts of your body strong, so they don’t give out when you are lifting.
Yoga also offers a way to improve your body and stay active even on the days that you aren’t lifting weights. This allows you to get exercise and get your body working in a less intense way. It also factors into sticking to your training program and not lifting weights too often (or lifting too much weight), which can result in injury or burnout for your body.
Similarly, practicing yoga can help your body to recover from your Weightlifting training. This can assist in rehabbing your muscles and joints by reducing inflammation and activating muscles without placing too much strain on them. There is even a particular type of yoga focused on recovery known as restorative yoga. This ensures that you are as physically healthy as possible to continue training—and competing—in Weightlifting.
These are some of the main ways that yoga can benefit weightlifters, proving that it is a valuable complement to your Weightlifting program. Now, let’s explore some of the different poses that weightlifters should consider using.
Yoga for Weightlifters
We’ve already covered some of the reasons why practicing yoga can benefit weightlifters, but where should you get started at implementing yoga as part of your training program? Let’s look at some of the best yoga poses and practices for weightlifters:
Child’s Pose - Child’s Pose is a simple yoga pose that is performed by spreading your knees on the ground, letting your stomach rest between your thighs, and resting your forehead on the ground. It focuses on a resting, gentle stretch that helps many parts of the body, including the lower back.
Downward Facing Dog - The Downward Facing Dog pose involves a mild inversion with both hands and feet on the ground and your backside up in the air. This pose targets the hamstrings and calves, and can also help with lower back pain.
Cobra Pose - The Cobra pose has you lie on your stomach on the ground with your legs and pelvis pressed in as you lift your chest up into the air. This pose helps open up the chest, stretch the back, and strengthen spinal support muscles.
Chair Pose - The Chair pose involves standing and bending your knees until you are in a slight sitting position. It can help to strengthen the legs, core, upper back, and shoulders, and improve balance and flexibility.
These are only a few of the yoga poses that you can perform to help you with your Weightlifting, but there are many others that can also be beneficial. Whether you are training for Weightlifting competitions or just lifting weights as your main form of exercise, consider getting into yoga as a way to improve your performance, stretch, recover, and alleviate pain.
USA Weightlifting aims to strengthen the Weightlifting community at every level—from amateurs up to the Olympic Team. We believe that Weightlifting is everyone’s sport, and through it, we can strengthen individuals, communities, and our country. We are dedicated to keeping the sport clean, safe, and focused on challenging individuals physically to help build strength within.
We are committed to building a diverse, inclusive, and safe space for everyone, and we continue to work to remove barriers to entry and encourage personal growth and transformation for all.
Our work also goes beyond the athletes, as we aim to educate the educators. Through the development of coaches and technical officials, we are constantly working to ensure excellence throughout the sport.
We rely on the support of donors like you to expand access and education for the sport, so consider making a donation today! You can also learn more about Weightlifting and Team USA, or consider bringing Weightlifting to a school near you!