When it comes to working out and doing yoga, it’s better to save the latter for afterwards.
Now, that’s a pretty hard-and-fast rule. And there are some times that it’s not the case. Ultimately, it depends on your lifestyle and strategy with working out and practicing yoga.
However, usually when people ask about yoga before or after weights, the recommendation is to save it for after workouts and on rest days for for active recovery.
Is It Good to Do Yoga Before A Workout? Usually, No…
Two reasons why.
Firstly, you don’t want to lengthen your muscles and loosen your body up. Static stretching specifically has been shown to decrease performance and isn’t advised before resistance training exercise.
Is it a good idea to do yoga before a workout? Based on this reason alone, no. Yoga is a great cool-down practice for your workouts. It calms your mind and stimulates Parasympathetic (PSNS) activity. That’s the branch of your Autonomic Nervous System responsible for “rest-and-digest”.
When combining yoga and strength training it makes more sense to do the latter first.
Second reason it makes more sense to do it that way, is because yoga can be a workout in itself. If you are familiar with more vigorous practices like power vinyasa, ashtanga, rocket, etc.–you already know these classes can kick your ass!
All of that work on the body can be taxing on the muscles. It’s better to expend energy on the higher intensity workouts BEFORE doing yoga.
Yoga classes will make a great accessory for AFTER your workouts, tho. Because they add a little more time under tension on the muscles. Strengthening the stabilizers and deep connective tissue surrounding the joints. Helping you become strong and supple while toning your body.
What Should You Do Before Your Workouts To Warmup?
So if it’s not recommended to do yoga before working out, what should you do instead?
First, warm up with 5-minutes of cardio (running, stationary bike, rowing, skipping, etc.) Skipping is my favourite way to warm up.
Then you can perform mobility exercises, and/or dynamic stretching related to the biomechanics of the exercises you will perform.
For example, if you are doing deadlifts (here are some great post deadlift stretches, btw). You can perform three warm-up sets with less weight prior to your working sets:
- Empty bar x 5 reps
- 50% working set x 5 reps
- 65% working set x 3-4 reps
You can do the same with your other exercises.
If you are doing more functional training, mobility exercises are a good option. In fact, our free Daily MVMNT Series features 7 different exercises you can try adding into your routine. Want to try them out for yourself?
Learn more and sign up for the free Daily MVMNT Series here.
And remember to save the yoga for after your workouts!
Hope this helps. Leave a comment if you have any questions.