• Radka Husanikova

Range of motion and yoga



So You Think You Are Too Tough For Yoga hmm. Maybe You Should Stick Around, I Will Most Likely Change Your Mind ;)


Even though flexibility is most of the time disregarded, flexibility is an essential component of your overall fitness regime, especially for strength training. Sufficient range of motion is crucial for lifting heavy weights adequately and safely. It is also important to have in mind movements that support stability and mobility that can uncover existing muscle imbalance and it is important to address any disparity for greater mastery during any daily activities at the gym or outside of the gym.


Inflexibility is Caused by Tight Muscles


Can you recall a time you felt your muscles really tight? Maybe, when you sit for a long period of time or after you wake up in the morning, your body is naturally asking for a morning stretch or any stretch that will take you out of the stiffness that your body is experiencing which can lead to reduction of flexibility.


Muscle tightness can be the result of lack of movement but also engaging in one type of exercise without adequate stretching. I am sure, you can remember times when you don’t stretch after a weightlifting session and the next day you can barely extend your arm to full range of motion and it can even cause you some discomfort or pain.

Carving time for stretching and making it your priority before or after your lifting session can be a game changer, especially when the stretching involves yoga.



Yoga for Flexibility Based on Research


Multiple studies have shown that developing a consistent yoga routine helps increase flexibility. In the study Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance , 14 athletes (YG) participated in biweekly yoga practice and 12 athletes (NYG) did not add yoga practice to their fitness routine that served as a control for this study. Measurement of flexibility was perform on Sit-reach (SR), shoulder flexibility (SF), and stork stand (SS); dynamic measurements consisted of joint angles (JA) measured during the performance of three distinct yoga positions (downward dog [DD]; right foot lunge [RFL]; chair [C]). At the end of the study, results suggest the athletes practicing yoga had outstanding increases in flexibility and balance and as an results adding yoga to your overall fitness routine will enhance athlete’s performance


Flexibility (and ankle, knee, and hip mobility) is necessary to stable positioning in the deep squat while chest, lat, and shoulder and thoracic mobility is needed to properly stabilize loads overhead.


Even Joe Rogan recognizes the benefits of yoga. He said: ”Yoga is huge for me. Yoga has had a tremendous effect on my back and overall flexibility since I was kid. I just feel better. It just feels like everything moves better. If your body has any weak links, yoga will find those links.”


Another research looked at The effects of selected asanas in Iyengar yoga on flexibility: Pilot study for moderately active females. 16 females practiced Iyengar yoga that focuses on breath control and using proper yoga posture alignment once a week for six weeks. Studies indicate that the female participant experienced a “significant increase in flexibility”, especially in the hamstring and erector spinae (deep back) muscles.


Squat Depth

If you have a hard time squatting below parallel you may experience poor ankle mobility. Guess whaaat? Yoga can help you


Sumo deadlift

Your limited hip mobility can compromise your sumo deadlift or a wider squat stance, yoga can help you to create better flexibility and in your external hip flexor to create more depth in your deadlift and squat but also feel comfortable, strong and in control in these movements. Guess what? Yoga can help you


Increase your Bench Arch

Increasing thoracic spine mobility will help you with stronger support during your bench press. Guess what? Yoga can help you



Yoga practice can help you to maintain and/or improve range of motion in our joints so the flexibility in your daily activities during your fitness performance or outside of the gym.


Reference:

Polsgrove, M. J., Eggleston, B. M., & Lockyer, R. J. (2016). Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes. International journal of yoga, 9(1), 27–34. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-6131.171710

Amin, D. J., & Goodman, M. (2013, November 8). The effects of selected asanas in iyengar yoga on flexibility: Pilot study. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. Retrieved October 31, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1360859213001903.

Popadic, E. (2021, September 23). Should powerlifters do yoga? (yes, here's 6 poses). PowerliftingTechnique.com | Learn Powerlifting. Get Stronger. Retrieved October 31, 2021, from https://powerliftingtechnique.com/yoga-for-powerlifters/.