Can yoga replace weight training in your exercise routine? Some fitness experts insist it’s possible, while others remain skeptical. There is no doubt that yoga involves some strength training. Is it enough to replace conventional weight lifting? Building muscle mass is essential for fat burning, strength and dexterity. Can enough muscle be built using only yoga as exercise? Well, that depends on your training level, intensity and the type of yoga used.
Beginners Traditional Yoga
If you have just begun a fitness routine, yoga can be very helpful in strengthening weak muscles. This allows the beginner to prepare for more intense workout routines, rather than jumping in full force. It can prevent injury by gradually building muscle. Most experts agree on this point. Yoga uses the body as leverage to strengthen and tone. It can certainly be substituted for a beginners weight training program. The controversy over whether yoga can replace weight training begins when it’s time to move up to heavier weights.
Intermediate Traditional Yoga
As the beginner becomes more adept they are able to increase the intensity of workouts. Adding more challenging positions can still give effective weight training if you are willing to work hard. More difficult yoga positions will certainly build more muscle. You will also be able to hold your position longer to increase strength and endurance. Yoga as a replacement for weight training is a strong possibility at the intermediate level, but you must be committed to your goal. Slipping back to your beginner routines is not an option when trying to replace weight training with yoga.
Advanced Level Yoga
In order to replace weight training with yoga at an advanced level, you must work extremely hard. One option is trying different methods of yoga. There is one method known as Dynamic Yoga, which combines traditional yoga with strength training and conventional exercise, for a more complete workout. Some proponents of Dynamic Yoga insist no conventional weight training is needed with this type of intense yoga.
Your Personal Goals
What are you trying to accomplish with your exercise routine? If you are trying to build a large muscle mass, yoga may not be a good replacement for conventional weight training. On the other hand, if you are simply trying to tone up, slim down and improve your flexibility, yoga can easily replace basic weight training. Is yoga beneficial for weight training? There is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your goals, level of experience and willingness to work hard.