Science has proven, several times over, the benefits that proper nutrition and exercise have on the body.  We are living in an era that allows us the luxury of several different ways to exercise.  It is important to bear in mind that balance is key for men when exercising.  Incorporating a little yoga into a regular weightlifting regimen is a great way to bring a little extra balance to those workouts.

Another common misconception when it comes to practicing yoga is that it is only for women. Yoga is as beneficial for men as it is for women. Some of the most popular yogis out there are men: Baron Baptiste, Rodney Yee, and Kurt Johnson to name a few. The benefits of incorporating yoga into a workout routine has many important benefits. Many professional athletes also incorporate yoga into their workout routine because it helps them with their strength, agility, balance and ability to focus during a game. Most men (I am generalizing here) have very tight hamstrings and limited flexibility.

Not only does yoga help increase range of motion, but also helps alleviate tight muscles and increases core strength. The benefits of incorporating yoga into a weightlifting regimen are aplenty!  So, for those looking to gain more strength, move with ease or have a little extra peace of mind, a regular yoga practice is a great way to complement just about any workout regimen. I cannot stress this enough – yoga is more than “just stretching.”

Power Yoga is challenging, and great for core strength. Yoga is a tool – one that, when used, can help with overall betterment of our lives.  Incorporating a few simple movements into the daily routine can help men increase core strength, ease tension in their lower back, hips and hamstrings.

Poses for tight hips:

Reclined Bound Angle Pose.

Lie on your back, bring the soles of your feet together and let knees fall out to sides. Hold for 30 seconds.

Reclined Pigeon.

Lie on your back with bent knees and feet flat on the floor. Place left ankle just above right knee. Bring the left arm through the opening created with the left leg and clasp hands behind the right knee. Lift the right foot off of the floor and bring the right knee towards the chest. Hold for 30 seconds.

Poses for tight hamstrings:

Pyramid pose.

Bring the left leg back to a 45-degree angle, with the right foot pointing forward.  Keeping the knee slightly bent, hinge forward at the hips, and bring your fingers as close to the floor and slowly straighten the leg. (Never lock the knee). Repeat on each side.

Standing forward fold.

Gently hinge forward at the hips, keeping the knees soft (do not lock knees). Allow the weight to gently rock forward to the balls of the feet. Tuck the chin to chest and grab the opposite elbow, this will help open up the shoulders as well.

Poses for stability and core strength:

Chair.

Separate your feet, hips’ width apart (splay your feet out to the side in case you have knee issues). Sit back as though onto a chair. Press hips down and back, press belly button to spine, extend hands forward and engage arms. Hold for 30-45 seconds.

Warrior I.

Strengthens quads, glutes, hip flexors and core. Bring left foot back to a 45-degree angle. 4-5 ft separation between feet. With the right foot facing forward, bend the knee to a 90-degree angle. Hands up over head, shoulder width apart. Hold for 30-45 seconds.

Boat pose.

Bring knees to chest and lean back onto sit bones. Extend legs forward and hold for 30 seconds.

These poses are just the tip of the iceberg for helping men increase their core strength and stability, ease tension in their hips, and tightness in their hamstrings.

Sylvia Morales