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Standing-Forward-Bend

Yoga Routine for Weight Lifters

OK, so yoga has never really been a favorite of mine.  I know, weird right?  I’ve just sort of always found it too slow and a bit boring, though I can’t argue with the way it makes me feel after, nice and loose, and relaxed.  If you weight lift like me, you probably find that your muscles get very tight over time, yoga can be a great addition to your regular routine (in addition to a regular workout day or as part of your rest day).  I know that yoga can be quite the workout, vinyasa style will have you moving quickly from one move to the next, can work on stability and strength, however, you’re already doing that (with a lot more weight!) If you are weight-lifting, so yoga in this case would be used mostly for it’s muscle stretching and flexibility improving abilities, that is the focus of this workout.

All you need for this routine is a yoga mat!

1) Begin in a standing position, slowly bend at the waist, keeping back as straight as possible, move into Standing Forward Bend (Holding arms at elbows), and allow gravity to work the stretch in your lower back.  Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.

Standing-Forward-Bend

2) Place right arm on the ground from this position, and twist the left arm to the ceiling,  this is Back Lengthener w/ Twist, the right leg can be slightly bent.   Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.  Then switch and do the same move on the other side.

Back Lengthener w Easy Twist

3) Move down into a squat position, twisting your right arm and head upwards (Squat with Twist), reach forward and feel the stretch in your back with your left arm.   Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.  Then switch and do the same move on the other side.

Squat Twist

4) From here, move onto all fours and do Cat Stretch and Cow Stretch for one deep breath in and out each for five repetitons

Cat Cow

5) Switch from Cow to Plank by moving your legs back (keep on hands). Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.

ICP

6) Switch to Downward Dog and hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.

Downward Dog

7) Kick your right leg backwards into Downward Dog Split and hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.

Downward Dog Split

8) Bring right Knee to Forehead and hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.

Knee to Forehead

9) Further bring right leg forward into Low/Runner’s Lunge. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.

Low Lunge

10) Still on right leg, bring arms up into High Lunge. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.

High Lunge

11) Stretch arms outwards and (slightly switching back foot position so it faces outwards) get into Warrior 2. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.

Virabhadrasana II, virabhadrasana 2, warrior II, warrior 2

12) Reaching backwards and placing right arm up and back and left arm onto extended back leg, get into Peaceful Warrior, and hold for 5 deep breaths.

Peaceful Warrior

13) Extend left arm in front of you and right arm on the ground now, hold Extended Side Angle for 5 deep breaths in and out.

Extended Side Angle

14) Testing your limits of balance now, push forward into Warrior 3, and hold for 5 deep breaths. Hold a chair in front of you at first if that helps, and work up to holding the move on your own.

Warrior 3

15) Still on that right leg, get into this is Twisted Half Moon by twisting body and extending right arm to the air while placing the left arm on the ground. Breath deeply and hold for 5 breaths.

Twisted Half Moon

16) Place both hands on the ground, and move legs back slightly, and get back into Downward Dog

Repeat #7-15 on left leg now.

17) From Downward Dog, move into Low Lunge again with right leg forward, and then press backwards so that left leg is bent and right leg is as straight as possible and press head as close to knee as possible (Low Lunge Sit Back on Heel Forward Bend). Hold for 5 deep breaths or 20-30 seconds.

Note that this picture is not quite correct, you will push back further so that you are sitting on heel and bring head forward to knee as best you can.
Note that this picture is not quite correct, you will push back further so that you are sitting on heel and bring head forward to knee as best you can.

18) Straighten left leg so that you are again standing, and push head down into Single-Leg Forward Bend. Hold for 5 deep breaths or 20-30 seconds.

Single Leg Forward Bend

19) Push into Triangle Pose with right leg still forward and right hand on the ground, with your face to the sky and left arm extended. Hold for 5 deep breaths or 20-30 seconds.

Triangle Pose

Pull legs together and from Downward Dog, repeat 17-19 on the left leg.

20) Hold downward dog for another 5 deep breaths, then walk legs to hands and hold Standing Forward Bend. Hold, feeling the stretch in your back and breathing deeply for about 30 seconds.

End!

I hope you enjoy, I find that this routine hits all MY sore spots that I get from really pushing through all those squats and deadlifts! Incorporate this routine weekly to help resolve that muscle tension that can cause injury and actually prevent hypertrophy!

~Krissy

Though I’ve put this routine together, I’ve used poses that can all be found in Tara Stiles’ book ‘SlimCalmSexy Yoga’ Women’s Health Publishing, 2010.

 

7 thoughts on “Yoga Routine for Weight Lifters

  1. Heyyyy

    I stumbled on this article because it’s exactly what I’m looking for. I’m a 28 year old male who recently started a mission of my own. Nutrition, fitness, healthy mind and body, etc. I’ve been weight training pretty heavily for only 3 months now but I really want to incorporate yoga into my routine. I’m in the gym currently 4 days a week, but would like to cut it down to 3 and add some yoga. When do you practice this yoga routine you’ve outlined? Once? Twice? Thrice a week? Rest days? Is the sequence done all in one session? If i weight train Mon, Wed, and Fri, would I do it Tues and Thurs? or would Sat or Sun be a better choice? Sorry for bombarding you with questions it just seems to be pretty hard finding solid information on this without people just recommending asking a professional. Thanks for your time!

    -Nick

    1. Hi Nick!

      I find yoga to be a great addition to a workout split. The routine is meant to be done as a continuous sequence done all in one session. There are enough moves that it should take 45-60 min (depending on how fast you move through them). For the best stretch, hold each move for 5 deep breaths. Once a week, on one of your off days is probably enough, but you may find some of the stretches really useful and incorporate them into your regular weight-training days (between sets). You can always add in more if you find that the routine is helping (I find this routine really loosens some pressure points, especially in my legs, that I get from weight training). If you currently train Mon, Weds, Fri, then Sat or Sun would probably be the best day to do it, but you might also find it helpful to do on the days between training, so I would suggest that you find what works for you. You might also find that foam rolling (on the inbetween days) might be helpful to release some of the tension and tightness from training. I hope this helps you, and that I’ve answered all of your questions! Happy Training 😉

      ~Krissy

      1. Awesome! Thanks Krissy, I just took myself out of a world of McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Cinnabon and I find this whole journey, while extremely enlightening, also quite frustrating and find myself blaming America for letting our society get like this. Even searching the web I find a million completely different, often contradicting, bits and pieces of advice on nutrition and fitness and general well-being, etc. It just seems like being healthy is a challenge when I feel it should be natural and simple. Luckily I’ve been gifted with a [fast metabolism?] and managed to live like an American slob and remain 150lbs, but I feel so much better now that I’ve been providing my body with the real fuel it needs instead of the garbage most of us eat merely for pleasure alone. Ok so I apologize for ranting but there’s (sadly) not many people I get to talk to about living a healthy lifestyle, so I was super pumped when I stumbled across your blog. Thanks so much for the advice!

        1. I agree, there’s a lot of misinformation out there (and a lot of gimmicks!), it can be very frustrating! Unfortunately, some people who do not necessarily have the best intentions have realized it’s a money making industry. There are some people, though, who just want to help and in a truthful way. The best advice, is to seek out sources you can trust, and to always look for supporting evidence/additional sources for people’s claims. So glad you’ve embarked on a journey for health and wellness! Hope you’ll stop by again, and I’m happy to help if you have questions. Regards, K.

          1. Ha wow, just wanted to let you know I’ve done your routine twice already and, oh my, this is hard! But I like it! lol I find myself sweating profusely by the end, but I’m also the least flexible person on the planet. I hope this helps change that!

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