We do Yoga for so many different reasons, to look better, to feel better, for our state of mind and Yoga strength and endurance training. Our strength and endurance are vital to us for our everyday function. At a basic level, we need strength to get out of a chair. I am told that most nursing home admissions are because the individual can’t lift themselves on and off the toilet. More than that our basic muscular strength and endurance allows us to be mobile, work well and makes our choice of leisure activities so much more than watching TV.
How much Strenght and Endurance do we want?
The amount of strength and endurance we need varies from individual to individual and also depends on the activities we want to do. Let’s say we are interested in being able to do the gardening for an hour and walk a couple of miles at a fair pace without fatigue both of these need endurance. We need to be able to carry the shopping ( strength) and to lift young children from the ground ( also strength).
There are lots of other benefits to strength and endurance training which are not quite so obvious. It increases bone density and so reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Blood pressure can go down as can cholesterol levels. You will reduce your risk of falls when you are stronger, alignment and posture are better and it helps with body fat levels and overall weight control. All in all these things will help with our self-image and self-confidence reducing depression and anxiety.
Strength and Endurance Training
To train our strength and endurance requires two different approaches to our exercise. They are opposite ends of a training scale.
To train for strength alone we need to be at a level of 75% or above of our maximum capacity with a low number of repetitions. This would be 1- 8 repetitions
To train our endurance we do 12 to 25 repetitions of moderate to light resistance at 40 to 60% of our maximum.
The guidelines for training both strength and endurance are 8 – 12 repetitions of heavy to moderate resistance . 2 to 4 sets with a rest of 2 to 4 minutes between sets. Less for those who are unable to complete this amount.
Now, these guidelines for training both strength and endurance at the same time can suit a yoga class. Whatever we do it needs to be slightly more than we are used to if we want to improve. 2 to 4 times and 2 to 3 days a week.
Yoga Strength and Endurance
We can use improve yoga strength and endurance no doubt. Training in the middle of the strength and endurance scale is where Yoga lies. It builds some strength and some endurance. The exact amounts being dependant on the specific yoga we do.
With yoga, we can gradually and slowly build up to lifting our own body weight if we wish. But that is a long way in, to start we may just be lifting an arm or a leg.
A yoga session typically lasts 75 minutes but the endurance training part is 45 minutes to an hour depending on the teacher. 2 to 3 sessions a week is recommended which is highly suitable for most yogis.
How our Muscles Change
Our muscles adapt to the type of training we do. If we train for strength our muscles increase in size with each existing muscle fibre getting bigger. Our connective tissue gets
If we train for strength our muscles increase in size with each existing muscle fibre getting bigger. Our connective tissue gets stronger, meaning that our joints are more stable and bones are stronger where the tissue attaches. Also, our energy usage gets more efficient with strength training improving our Phosphocreatine system.
If we train for endurance we can exercise for longer. This is because our energy systems become more efficient especially the muscles’ ability to use oxygen. This leads to less build up of Lactic acid in our muscles and so less soreness and fatigue at the time of activity.
The sort of yoga strength and endurance training we do depends on our current level of fitness and out personal goals.
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