Is yoga better than strength training?

Is yoga better than strength training? Do we know which of the two fitness disciplines is more effective for modern day fitness needs such as preventing lifestyle diseases and effective weight management?

Some people think it is unfair to consider either yoga or strength training as superior or inferior to each other. I believe both have certain benefits that they alone provide best, and both have certain shortcomings which require practicing the other.

What sparked the debate between yoga and strength training? There was a time when they believed that runners should not lift weights, and weightlifters should not run. These were the times when it was believed that different forms of training cannot be mixed, and thus a trainer promoted his form of exercise as the ultimate and complete form of training. Today, good coaches happen to know a bit of various types of training and even teach it to their clients, why? This is because it is very commonly agreed by most that various forms of training have various benefits to offer and for overall health one needs to mix different styles of training.

For avoiding bone loss density or osteoporosis, strength training with body weight and preferably with added weights via barbells or dumbbells is known to be the best defense. This type of resistance training helps keep bones strong by causing the muscles and tendons to pull on the bones, which in turn stimulates bone cells to produce more bone. Again, even activities like running can create the type of load on the bones to help prevent it, but weight training in my opinion is the best.

Body weight training does have the potential to build muscles. In fact a lot of old school gyms still begin a new trainee with only body weight training for the first few months before they allow them to touch weights. However while it may be good for beginners, for more advanced trainees it is best to add weights in their training to get better results. This is necessary because as one becomes accustomed and good at moving their own body weight, it becomes essential to add external weights to keep the results coming.

Strength training is often believed to only help one get strong or build big muscles, the fact is that strength training has been shown to reduce blood pressure, lose fat, control Diabetes, keep the cardiovascular system strong, etc. As you can see, it provides a ton of health benefits.

Muscles do not understand whether it is Yoga or barbells, they simply respond to the intensity. And as far as the intensity of muscular force production is concerned, strength training is far higher, since it can be increased progressively as you get stronger, unlike Yoga which is limited to one’s own body weight.

For overall fitness, it best to do a combination of both. Strength training will strengthen your body and boost metabolism, Yoga will help keep your body flexible, and depending on the style of Yoga you do, it will also help keep your mind calm.

About Michael

Michael Bonetti has been a certified personal trainer since 1994. His true passion is helping people. Whether you need help losing weight for a wedding, playing golf better, or living without pain; Michael is dedicated to learning everything he can to help you achieve all your health and fitness goals.

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