Why Pilates and Yoga Will Make You Stronger In the Gym
There’s no doubt there are enormous benefits to practicing yoga and Pilates – not only do they give your body an all-over workout and relax your mind; they also help with other exercise so results are faster and longer-lasting. Complementing your gym workout with yoga or Pilates will encourage positive body changes and give you the power to run faster on the treadmill, cycle harder or use the cross-trainers for longer periods of time.
A Supportive Workout
If you do go to the gym you probably do it for a number of reasons, to keep fit, use it as a stress-reliever, sculpt your body or perhaps to aid in rehabilitation. Pilates or yoga are other workouts you can practice alongside your general workout. Some gym workouts can put extra stress on muscles; but doing yoga or Pilates will help to alleviate any pain, while strengthening and toning. Pilates is excellent for supporting the spine and protecting the back while you’re weight lifting or using machines at the gym. Pilates teaches you to focus on the core and both Pilates and yoga help with balance. Yoga and Pilates both focus on posture, as well, so if you’re lifting in the gym, standing correctly will make sure you are exercising safely and supporting your back and spine.
Improved Back Strength and Abdominals
There was a recent study conducted at Kings College London by Duncan Critchley which examined gym users doing weight training and a group of people who practiced Pilates. When it came to abdominal exercise, the Pilates group had better results when combined with regular gym training because they really used their deep core muscles. Those who did Pilates with gym training also reported their lower back was more comfortable.
More Endurance, Better Performance
Practicing Pilates or yoga will definitely enhance your endurance so you can improve your workout in the gym, lift heavier weights or add more repetitions, and work longer aerobically. In Pilates and yoga you perform poses and exercises which require you to hold yourself in challenging positions which increases endurance and concentration. Using the same principles during a gym workout will help to gain better strength and ability.
For those who use the gym purely for aerobic exercise (for example, the treadmill, the bike, the elliptical, etc.) it’s important to add in strength training. Yoga and Pilates both can count as strength training. Strength training is important because it maintains and stimulates metabolism, helping our bodies to run more efficiently. Weight bearing activities also helps build lean muscle and strengthens the bones. You are taught how to support your own body weight with yoga and Pilates in various positions. You can definitely get a toned physique with Pilates and yoga.
So to improve your strength at the gym, enhance your overall sports performance and deliver even better results for your body and mind, introduce yoga or Pilates to your regular routine. You will reap the benefits in just three or four sessions.
Author: Jane Evans a UK based Pilates and yoga instructor. Check out her pilates for beginners guide here.