Five Best Yoga Poses for Bodybuilders

6 min readOct 28, 2021

By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS

Yoga and Bodybuilding Complement One Another (Image Source: Shutterstock)

If you work out a lot, chances are you have a go-to exercise routine. Whether you love HIIT or weight lifting, you can rely on it to get in a sweat-inducing workout. When it comes to exercising, however, a variety is crucial to seeing results. Alternating between different workouts is just the kind of balance you need, and nothing balances out the body like a yoga session. Yoga and bodybuilding complement one another. By combining the flexibility and stress-relieving benefits of yoga with the muscle-building benefits of bodybuilding, you can achieve the perfect balance. Yoga for bodybuilders helps counteract the stress of weightlifting by focusing on exercises for the body, mind, and soul.

September is National Yoga Month, a time to roll out your mat and try an exercise that people from all over the world love. Yoga is a physical activity that involves various poses and deep breathing to improve strength, flexibility, and balance.

Yoga Lengthens The Muscles To Improve Your Range Of Motion (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The general assumption is that bodybuilding and yoga don’t go hand in hand. Bodybuilding or weight lifting is all about building muscle and strength. As such, bodybuilders tend to have shorter and tighter muscles. Yoga does the complete opposite. It lengthens the muscles to improve your range of motion. That improved range of motion is what you need as a bodybuilder to strengthen your muscles and improve your performance.

The Positive Impact of Yoga

For most people, yoga provides an avenue to escape the chaos of daily hectic and busy life. The number of people practicing yoga in the US alone stands at an estimated fifty-five million.

The Science Behind Yoga — Laura Plumb

Numerous studies show that the mind-body workout that yoga provides reduces both stress and anxiety. Yoga involves controlled breathing, which is vital in controlling the body and putting your mind at rest.

The poses and movements involved in vinyasa flow yoga, for instance, lead to better flexibility and improved balance. As a bodybuilder, yoga can alleviate tight muscles and help build strength and tone the body.

Trying yoga for the first time doesn’t need to be overwhelming, as you can start with yoga for beginners and gently ease your body into it. Over time, if you practice yoga regularly, your body will start to loosen, and your balance and range of motion will improve.

Increase Muscle Mass with Weight Training

Strength training is all about bulking up. When done right, it can increase your muscle mass and bone density. If you are looking to lose weight, strength training may be just what you need. Exercise helps boost metabolism, which means burning more calories.

Regular strength training affects the overall quality of life of an individual. Building muscle makes everyday tasks easy to accomplish, which is something you need as you get older. As you age, you are likely to lose about five percent of your muscle. A recent study has shown that thirty minutes of strength training a few times a week can counteract the effects of aging.

The Best 5 Yoga Poses for Bodybuilders

If you are into bodybuilding and looking to improve flexibility and mobility, it’s time to grab your B Yoga B MAT and experience the benefits of yoga. Try these five yoga poses for bodybuilders to ease tension and improve overall well-being.

The Go-To Yoga Mat For Tall People

Plank Workout

The plank workout is one of the most popular exercises for developing a stronger core. It is also a great exercise for conditioning the muscles around the collarbone and the shoulders.

How to Plank Properly for Beginners | Step By Step Tutorial — WaysAndHow

Begin in a push-up position. Make sure that your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Bend at the elbows so that your forearms are on the floor. Keep your head held up and facing forward and in line with your spine. Tuck in your stomach to keep your abdominal muscles engaged; hold the posture for about twenty seconds. Increase the hold time gradually. If you want to add variation, you can introduce the side plank.

Opposite Arm and Leg Extension

Also referred to as the bird dog pose, this yoga pose is perfect for a strong back — something you need during resistance training. The pose helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles and the glutes.

Begin on all fours with the hands and knees shoulder-width apart. While in that position, engage your lower abdominal muscles and then lift both the right arm and left leg so that they line up with the rest of your body. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat the same process using the alternate arm and leg.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Uttanasana targets the hamstrings and the hip muscles. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. With your hands on your hips, exhale and then hinge your body forward at the hips. When doing so, lengthen your torso and spine while keeping a micro bend in your knees. When bent, let your fingertips touch the floor (or yoga blocks).

With Your Hands On Your Hips, Exhale And Then Hinge Your Body Forward At The Hips (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Relax. Let your head hang down and lift your bottom. Make sure that you distribute your weight and lengthen your spine. Hold the pose for as long as you can, and then bend your knees and assume a half-forward bend.

Keep your fingertips on the floor, and then move your hands up onto your shins. Stretch back through your hips, and then reach forward before bringing your hands to your hips. Make sure your elbows are pointing up. Keep your spine lengthened, and then carefully roll-up.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

The cobra or Bhujangasana pose strengthens the spine muscles while opening the chest and stretching the abdominal muscles.

Cobra Pose: Home Practice from Yoga Journal — Yoga Journal

Lie on your belly and place your palms close to your chest with your fingers pointing forward. Your feet should be flat on the mat without curling your toes.

In that position, inhale and then lift your chest off the floor. Your feet, torso, hips, and hands should remain on the mat. Hold the pose for a few breaths, and then lower yourself to the mat. As you get comfortable with the pose, you can try lifting yourself to a higher cobra pose.

Legs Up the Wall (or Chair) Pose

This yoga chair pose is a great exercise for the leg muscles, especially at the back of your legs. Place your yoga mat six to eight inches from the wall or chair for support. Sit to the left of the wall with your hip against the floor. Roll onto your right onto your back, and then bring your legs up the wall or chair. Start with a slight bend in your legs; straighten over time as you practice more.

Beginners Yoga Tutorials | How To Do Chair Pose With A Yoga Block — Body By Yoga

Your bum should drop down below the wall, either touching it or close to it. Draw your legs close together, and then extend your arms along the sides. Try putting a pillow under your head to avoid straining your head and neck too much.

National Yoga Month: Train Your Body, Mind, and Soul

If you are a bodybuilder, yoga is a fantastic way to complement your exercise routine and regain balance in your body. Yoga can help build strength, muscle, balance, and flexibility while increasing your range of motion. If you love bodybuilding and weight training, yoga can enhance your training. If you’re wondering how to mix up your strength training, now is a great time to try yoga for bodybuilders.

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