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How Does Yoga Help Build Muscle?

by | Jan 2, 2023 | Nurturing Your Practice

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Yoga isn’t a practice that people associate with building muscle. When you hear the term muscle building, your mind goes to the weight room where humans roam the floor. Yoga can help you build muscle, but you aren’t going to win the Olympia. So how does yoga help build muscle?

By using scientifically based principles, yoga can build muscle and strength:

  • Yoga increases muscle size isometrically. Isometrics are static holds that allow the muscle to remain at its longest point and hold up your body weight. 
  • Yoga allows muscles to get time under tension, which is essential to increasing muscle size. 

Knowing what kind of flows are best for building muscle is hard to understand for those unfamiliar with yoga. Unfortunately, there’s so much misinformation out there that people could injure themselves instead of using the healing power of yoga. So read on and learn all about how yoga can be used to build muscle.

Is Yoga a Physical Sport?

Yoga can be one of the most demanding forms of exercise, but it is not a sport. 

Yoga is not a sport because no competition is the hallmark of an athletic event. 

It places demands on your body that allow you to:

  • Build muscle
  • Gain flexibility
  • Increase vitality

In addition, it puts a heavy emphasis on meditation and mindfulness, which can be crucial to keeping your mood regulated.

Which Muscles are Used the Most in Yoga?

Yoga can target all muscles of the body to gain muscles or if someone wants to loose weight then refer our list of ways in which Yoga Helps You Lose Weight

Regular practice has been shown to strengthen the:

  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Core
  • Legs

There are hybrids of yoga and calisthenics that can target muscle groups. All body muscles can benefit from regular yoga practice. Remember that regular practice is required to increase and maintain your strength and muscle. 

What Type of Yoga Builds Muscle?

Yoga has a firm foundation in relaxation and meditation. Some flows are designed to allow practitioners to work as much on their minds as their bodies. 

Studies have shown that poses and types of yoga enable users to gain muscle mass. However, you must remember that looking for significant growth does require weight-bearing exercise.

Muscle-Building Yoga Types

There are some challenging types of yoga out there. They often place your body at a mechanical disadvantage or push them through a repetitive cycle that produces strength and size over time. 

Chances are you have heard of these types of yoga, and if there are classes in your area, you should get there as fast as possible to participate.

The muscle-building types of yoga are as follows:

  • Vinyasa – Vinyasa yoga moves the body through ranges of motion that allow you to build muscle. With extended stretches and advanced holds, the user can expect to overstress the muscles and produce enough of a response to tone and build muscles. Vinyasa stands at the threshold of several muscle-building types of yoga. 
  • Ashtanga Yoga – Ashtanga or Power Yoga is a favorite of people around the globe. It has been proven to increase muscle size in the core, legs, and chest. The challenging poses and binds make your muscles hard as iron and flexible like steel cable.
  • Bikram Yoga – One of the most challenging types of yoga, Hot Yoga or Bikram. It places the users in a room between 80 and 100 degrees. The extra humidity pushes the muscles and mind to their limits. After a few sessions, your arms and core will gain musculature, and your mind will be calloused against wear and tear.

It should be noted that the progressive overload principle is what makes muscles grow. You won’t see results if you aren’t going farther in your stretches and more prolonged in your practices. 

You increase your chances of building quality muscle by overloading the muscles with more reps and deeper stretches.

How Long Does It Take to Build Strength In Yoga?

When practicing yoga, you use a few principles that are present in the bodybuilding and strength training world. These principles, like progressive overload, allow your body to respond to the outside stimulus of movement by building stronger muscles. 

Everyone is different, but within a month of three times-a-week sessions, you should notice an increase in strength.

Yoga uses isometrics to increase both size and strength. You can build strength by holding poses for extended periods or increasing your range of motion. 

There is no weight to be added, so users could get creative to hit muscles correctly. It will take time but learn to love the practice and make your goals intrinsic and not based on what someone else desires.

How Do I Get Started in Yoga?

To get started with yoga, there are a few things to research first. Then you can find a place to practice.

Follow these tips:

  • Find a location near you with a certified instructor. 
  • There are several types of yoga, and if you are unsure which works best for you doing a Google search with ‘yoga + muscle building’ will give you a fantastic starting position. 
  • There are other places to start, like your local gym, but going with the internet is best if you want to start slow.

Getting your feet wet with yoga isn’t as hard as it once was. Several years ago, people were skeptical about the ancient art form and opted for steady-state cardio or step classes to keep in shape. 

Today you can find yoga classes at your local gym, and a massive area on YouTube is dedicated to yoga of all forms and practices.

Conclusion

Yoga builds muscle by using the same principles as bodybuilders and powerlifters. By progressively overloading the muscles, they adapt and gain size and strength. To progressively overload the muscle with yoga takes a bit longer than using weights but produces musculature that generates large amounts of power and is aesthetically pleasing.

A few different types of yoga allow you to build muscle. Remember that traditional types of yoga, like Bikram and Ashtanga, could not be as effective as new hybrid types of yoga that combine calisthenics with a yoga flow. Always do your homework before choosing the type of yoga you want to build muscle. 

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