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Yoga and Strength Training - Resistance bands and Dumbbells

By Liz Quinlisk

SUN JUN 05, 2022

Why add a resistance band or hand weights to a yoga practice?

Yoga is a great way to improve your overall strength, balance and flexibility, but there are some limitations in terms of how we can increase our strength. For example, in yoga, there are many ways in which we can build the muscles involved with pushing (front of the shoulders and chest), such as when we hold plank or downward-facing dog. But there are not many postures that involve the pulling muscles (like the upper and mid-back muscles and triceps.) In order to target some of these other areas, which are important for us to maintain good posture, it is necessary to add resistance or load. We can do this by adding resistance bands and dumbbells to our yoga practice.

In my Gentle Yoga for Strength and Stability classes, we often use resistance bands and dumbbells to add some strength building.

So, if you like yoga AND you want to work on your strength, I have 3 strength-enhancing yoga postures for you to try out.

To get started, you will need a resistance band and 1 or 2 dumbbells. The resistance band and the weight of the dumbbell will vary according to your ability and current strength. Typically, a good weight to start with is one that you can lift about 8-10 times and leaves you feeling tired by the last repetition. If you can lift a weight easily 15-20 times, it's probably too light for you. It's always best to start off with a lighter weight if you're not sure!

I love Gaiam's yoga and exercise products. I like to buy the 3-pack of resistance bands, which offer light, medium and heavy resistance. Click the links below if you want to see my recommendations:

Dumbbells

Resistance Bands

Watch the video below to learn how to add strength training to your yoga!