In this article, I am going to share with you the best yoga routine for weightlifters. If you are looking to maximize your flexibility and improve muscle recovery, yoga is a great addition to complement your weightlifting.
And make sure you read through to the end. because I have also included a free 20-minute yoga for weightlifters class you can use anytime you need a solid class!
The Best Yoga Routine for Weightlifters Requires Consistency
I can’t emphasize enough the word “routine”.
You and I both know it. If you don’t have a routine at the gym, you will not get the results you are after. So it is with yoga.
Like the strength gains that happen at the gym, improving mobility and flexibility takes time. I can’t just give you some YouTube class and say, “practice this class and you will turn into rubber!”
You might notice some things, however. Maybe your hips feel amazing after. And so you practice it a few times a week. And after some time, you begin to notice improved range of motion. Less aches and pains. Improved lifts.
It’s powerful stuff!
Remember, weightlifting IS a practice. You (ideally) progressively overload your muscles with stress so that they will grow back stronger. With yoga, you lengthen the muscles. And strengthen them isometrically. This helps to develop the stabilization muscles surrounding your joint areas.
How often, and what styles of yoga should you practice?
It’s easy to just tell you a yoga routine and say, “Here! Follow this!”
Truth is, it isn’t that simple… The best yoga routine for weightlifters is sorta up to you…
The good news is, you can work yoga into your weightlifting routine relatively easy. Once you determine what is best for you.
There are three ways I like to include yoga around my fitness programming. These are:
One) Power Vinyasa style yoga classes.
I’m a big fan of power yoga. It strengthens up the areas missed from your weightlifting routine so well. Your stabilizers strengthen in an incredible way surrounding the joint areas. Toughening em up and reducing your chances of injury.
Power yoga is great, but it can also be a workout in itself. So if you are really beat up from a high-intensity workout, you may want to focus more on…
Two) Yin / Rest & Recovery style yoga classes.
Yin is a style of yoga that is mostly of supine (lying) and seated poses. It’s super chill. You get into poses and hold them for lengths of time anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Even if you shorten those down to 1-minute, these classes are AMAZING for flexibility.
Pro tip: plan for an at least once weekly unwind session with Yin. For example, if Sunday is typically a rest day for you. Plan for a yin class. It’s a solid way to end the week.
Whether that’s at a local studio. Or you use something like the Yin for Focused Flexibility classes we have available in YogaRX: Yoga for Weightlifters & Athletes.
Doing yin classes at least once per week will dramatically improve your flexibility!
It will also really help you to unwind and relax. Which is great for kicking you into ‘rest and digest’ vs ‘fight or flight’ you are more likely used to.
So where are we at?
We have power vinyasa yoga classes. Ideally daily, or at least on our rest days. Then, we have a once weekly yin style yoga class. To really open up tight muscles and unwind from the week before we kick off the next.
That’s a solid way to fit yoga in around your weightlifting. That’s how I like to do it.
I said there was THREE…
Three) Practice poses and skills on their own
Well, the third way I like to practice is to include skills. And specific poses or stretches for cool-downs following workouts.
Handstands and arm balances are an example of skills I like to practice. And the nice part about learning how to handstand is that it trains your shoulders in their full range of motion.
As well, I like to use individual stretches from yoga after workouts. As you practice more, YOU might pick up some stretches you like. You can keep these in mind and work on them after your workouts for a cool-down.
So that’s the full exposure, really. IMO the best yoga routine for weightlifters is the ongoing practice of vinyasa style classes. As well as yin for improved flexibility, and help with recovery.
Word of caution: I wouldn’t recommend doing yoga before your workouts.
Reason being, is that yoga is going to lengthen your muscles. You don’t want to do that before strength-training. Not only that, but something like power vinyasa applies a fair amount of stress on the muscles. This is GREAT to follow up higher intensity training with. But NOT great to stress the muscles before that training!
The exception is if you want to do a morning yoga routine and you will be training later in the day.
(Btw – got some morning mobility classes in available in YogaRX)
Otherwise, I’ve always preferred to get my workouts in first. Then yoga afterwards / later in the evening.
The truth is the best yoga routine for weightlifters relies on your lifestyle.
You ultimately have to discover what works best for you. In terms of what your body needs. And what your schedule will allow.
The only rules I would emphasize is NOT doing yoga before your weight training.
So if you can do vinyasa yoga everyday on top of your training – you will feel incredible for it. Even if you only do one or two classes per week. You will notice the difference in how well you move and feel. And you will see your weight training improve, as well.
If you can fit in some one hour yoga classes at a nearby studio, I’d recommend it. Try to get an introductory offer at a nearby studio. Sometimes you can get a 30-days introductory offer.
Go to as many different teachers and classes as you can.
You can also practice yoga for weightlifters specific classes in YogaRX…
That’s right you heard it here first! Lol…
But if you want a program that has classes designed to complement the specific needs of weightlifters… with practices that you can use around your training splits… you should check out YogaRX!
YogaRX features classes designed specifically for weightlifters to use around their weightlifting routine. For example, you can use the “hamstring recovery” class to follow up your heavy deadlifting days with.
There are lower body and upper body focused vinyasas. Total body. For beginners and intermediate. Focused flexibility yin classes. And more!
You can learn more about YogaRX: Yoga for Weightlifters & Athletes here.
Bonus: Free 20-Minute Yoga for Weightlifters Class on YouTube!
Before you go on your merry way, I have a free class for you! This is a yoga for weightlifters class that I put together awhile ago on YouTube. You can use this after your workouts and/or on your off days.
Try it out and lemme know what you think!