Practicing yoga has many positive health benefits, but for most people who do it, strength is lower on the list. You’ll feel the burning sensation and find that you’re definitely working on strength when your muscles start to shake. Yoga may not be enough strength training for everyone, but for just about everyone, it’s a great addition to a fitness routine and can be an important part of weight training. However, if you’re already doing significant resistance training and have good basic fitness, yoga is unlikely to make a difference in strength.
A study in The Journals of Gerontology (opens in new tab) showed that although regular yoga practice three times a week can lead to some muscle growth, it is not an effective full-body strength training in the long term.
What type of yoga is best for strength?
While these are excellent benefits of practicing yoga, yoga can also be an effective way to increase your strength. This pose not only strengthens your arm muscles but also improves your shoulder stability and balance, key elements for any strong yoga practice. Iyengar is a yoga style that relies on props to make it easier to hold challenging poses over long periods of time. If you’ve ever taken a vinyasa class, you know exactly how this yoga style combines poses with your breath and can make your muscles shake at the end.
Like Vinyasa, Ashtanga poses aren’t held for very long, but the vigorous pace and reliance on many upper body poses make this yoga style a great yoga style for strengthening your core, arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back.