Maybe you’ve heard yoga can be beneficial for weightlifters. But should you do them on the same day?
One question I’ve been asked about, is yoga and weightlifting same day. And it’s a great question. One that I have wanted to cover, and am happy to be doing for you right now.
The answer is: it depends.
On multiple factors. But for the most part, it comes down to the timing.
For example, I would NOT recommend yoga before weightlifting (I’ll address a caveat to that in a moment). Anytime after, it’s fair game. In fact, yoga after weight training is a great way to lengthen the muscles and cool your Autonomic Nervous system’s jet’s. This get’s you outta fight-or-flight and puts you into rest-and-recovery.
^ It’s one of the reasons yoga and weightlifting are a perfect match.
But you shouldn’t do yoga within a few hours of weightlifting.
You don’t want to lengthen your muscles pre-workout. In fact, any static stretching (that is, holding stretches for long periods of time) should be avoided before you lift.
Further, research has shown static stretching to significantly impact athletic performance. One such study resulted in a statistically significant slowing in collegiate runners’ sprinting times.
Remember: Save Static Stretching for Post-Workout
So we’ve learned static stretching should be avoided.
Yet it’s common to see people at the gym doing it (I’ve been guilty of it in the past). For example, you’ll see people sit in a forward fold for an eternity before deadlifting. Instead, you’d be better off to warm up with something like Jefferson curls; and/or perform warm-up sets with lighter deadlifts before your first working set.
The idea is to warm-up the muscles you are about to load. Accordingly, you should focus on preparing your body for the biomechanics you are about to perform.
One Caveat: Let’s say you want to do morning yoga / stretching, and lift later in the afternoon/evening:
That is totally fine.
Plus, you could even warm-up with a few rounds of Vinyasa A before you workout. Or some dynamic sequence that focuses on your mobility without static holds.
Therefore, unless it’s anything short and dynamic (like a few rounds of Sun Sals), avoid it before working out. You don’t want to lengthen the muscles before you lift.
Remember: stick to dynamic stretching before you workout. Focus on warming up the body and preparing the muscles that are being loaded (ie. unweighted barbell squats before adding weight). Save any passive stretching until after your workout.
Yoga and weightlifting same day: save it for after your workouts, or on your rest days. Even better, both.
Tailor some stretches or do some yoga for weightlifters classes after your workouts.
Ultimately, I’ve always aimed to do yoga after workouts. ESPECIALLY on off days.
It’s why I harp on yoga for weightlifters content. Yoga and weightlifting go together like Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute. So different. Yet they’re the perfect contrast, and I can’t imagine the Office without them together.
In conclusion, yoga and weightlifting on the same day is perfectly fine. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing it before your workouts. Save your practices for AFTER your workouts, and/or on your rest days.
Bonus: Yoga for weightlifters class to get you started
Want to experience a quick class that you can work around your workout?
My first Yoga For Weightlifters video is available on YouTube! You can follow along with me at any time. I’ve also embedded the class for you here:
Hope you like it!
Jason Jacques (@jay_in_the_life)
PS If you truly wanna maximize your mobility gains, take a look around the Built By Yoga website. Here you’ll learn more about my approach to yoga and movement.
If you want a complete mobility program tailored around your lifting routine, I recommend you check out the Yoga For Weightlifters (YFW) program!