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Yoga and strength training - need a day of rest in between?

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So I know that you're not supposed to strength train the same group of muscles two days in a row, but I'm not sure how yoga fits into that.  If I do yoga that involves lots of upper body moves (i.e. plank, chaturanga, downward dog), is it ok to do upper body strength training the next day?  Same with lower body - is it ok to follow a yoga day that has lots of lunges with a lower body strength training workout the next day?  Since yoga involves just weight-bearing moves and many people do it every day, does it have different "rules" for rest days in between sessions?


Thanks for any advice!

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That's a very interesting question. Many people, including CC's activity chart, think yoga is simply "gentle stretching".

I do mostly the same set each day and only vary with what my body seems to need. What I have begun lately is taking upper body moves like plank and downward dog and putting them all on one day to which I have added an evening set with the pilates band. I also keep 2 pound weights in the office and on the upper body days I'll do a couple sets of some basic lifts. I do not find a need to alternate leg work.

I don't know if this is beneficial or not. I think the rule would be if you notice it, you need the day's rest. If not then it doesn't matter. I'm going to keep on with the alternating for upper body because with the additions of the band and weights I do feel it a bit.

The question may best be asked of someone that has taught yoga, especially due to the problematic idea that yoga is nothing more than "gentle stretching". It certainly can be - if one practices only in that way and avoids a large number of poses. Are there any yoga teachers here at CC?

If you're doing Hatha yoga - the meditative, gentle stretch/flexibility kind you can do it on your off days and on consecutive days.

 If you're doing Ashtanga or Vinyasa and you aren't past the point where bodyweight is strength training, not so much. If you can knock out 16-20 pushups then dands are strength endurance, not pure strength training; if you can only do 5-10 pushups then it's still strength training for you and you need the rest time.

 Same holds true for all the other exercises - it's not about bodyweight or not, it's about the load you're using. If you can do more than about 20 reps you're using less than 50% of your 1RM; which means you're doing strength endurance training. Strength endurance training uses your muscles differently than maximal strength training and can be mixed in on your off days in some cases; it still impacts recovery and needs to be considered as part of your total training volume for fatigue management purposes.

 So: hatha can be used as a recovery workout; the more vigorous forms, quite probably not.

Thank you both for the help!  I'm doing the more vigorous vinyasa/ashtanga yoga and I'm still at the point where if it's a good instructor I'll feel it the next day.  So I'll make sure to rest those muscles the day after since I definitely can't bang out 20 pushups (yet!).

3 Replies