Here’s a question we get a lot around here. (Like, a lot):
Q: “Is yoga a good full body workout?”
We understand why you’re asking.
You’re probably used to seeing yoga portrayed a certain way in pop culture and out in the world — lots of oh-ming and deep breathing and stretching — so when you start to hear rumors about the amazing benefits of an energy-packed power yoga flow, it might be hard for you to believe that yoga really is good exercise.
But guess what? It is!
Stop asking the same question and get ready to simply embrace it. Why? Because it could really change your life.
Still looking for proof that yoga is a good full body workout?
It has all the benefits (and more) of other fitness regimens out there.
Obviously, we’re ready and waiting with that proof.
But let’s talk about what makes an activity a great workout! That way, next time you’re wondering – if yoga is good for you – you won’t even have to take it from us that the answer is “yes.”
What is a full body workout?
A full body workout is one that works all of the major muscle groups in your body.
Experts at Harvard Health get a little further into the top 7 points to note.
Here’s what they have to say about full body workouts:
#1) Strength or resistance training is a great form of full body workout
Strength training increases muscle mass, tones muscles, and strengthens your bones. You’ll know you’re having a full body workout because you’ll feel soreness in your muscles as they’re challenged with your bodyweight or additional weight.
We like to call this strength training element and added physical fitness “Cardio Yoga” and it really is a workout you have to experience for yourself.
Check out all of the benefits of Cardio Yoga below:
#2) Workout at least twice a week
According to Harvard Health, “The current national guidelines for physical activity recommend strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms) at least twice a week.”
So, yeah, these kinds of yoga workouts are considered pretty, pretty important.
#3) Full body workouts are best performed within the context of a consistent exercise routine
Harvard Health recommends working all of the major muscle groups of your body two or three times a week. Some people choose to do one or two longer full body workouts in a single week, but others break up their full body workouts into smaller segments throughout the time. This is one of the ways in which yoga can really come in handy for your exercise program!
#4) Include time to warm up before and time to cool down after
Our Bulldog Online classes, for example, include time to warm up your muscles and then to stretch them out. (Clearly, one more reason that everyone needs to stop questioning Is yoga a good full body workout?)
#5) Workout at the right tempo
Per Harvard Health, “Working at the right tempo helps you stay in control rather than compromise strength gains through momentum.”
Our cardio yoga flows are all about tempo — and we have our awesome playlists to thank. Every single one of our online classes is set to fantastic jams that will help keep everyone on beat with their full body workouts.
#6) Pay attention to your breathing
And while power yoga is a little less concerned with mindful breathing than other types of yoga, our class leaders do remind you to watch those inhales and exhales to make sure you’re getting the most out of your exercise session.
#7) Effective full body workouts get more challenging over time.
If, for example, your go-to mode of full body exercise is weightlifting, you’re adding more weight from week to week. In yoga, you might try increasingly difficult classes over time. Our custom yoga workout plans help you figure out how to do this effectively!
Yoga ticks all of those boxes!
Contrary to popular belief, yoga is a unique form of strength training
Unlike weight lifting, it uses your bodyweight as resistance. As you move in and out of various yoga poses, you’ll be shifting the weight of your body around, building strength in your muscles in the process.
Yoga is also a super adaptable fitness activity, which allows you to build a consistent, dynamic workout schedule that is sure to give you the kind of regularity that Harvard recommends.
You can choose a yoga class based on your current fitness level — if you’re new to the practice, you should definitely check out one of our beginner flows! — and then challenge yourself from there. Plus, since Bulldog Online allows you to take a class whenever and wherever you’d like, you can work out with more comfort and consistency than you would be able to otherwise.
I mean, have you tried power yoga before??? If not, you really should.
Now you can feel confident that yoga is a good workout
How could you not be on board? Yoga has all of the qualities of any other full body workout — plus it gets bonus points for being so much fun. We don’t see how you could possibly still be doubting if yoga is good exercise, but if you are, just give it a try.
Regardless, you might still be wondering why you should even care whether or not the best yoga workout actually works your full body. Let’s discuss the many benefits of a full body workout, shall we?
The Top Benefits of a Full Body Yoga Workout
According to Medline:
- It can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- It can help your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels, supporting weight management efforts in the process.
- It has many benefits to your mental health! Full body workouts have been proven time and again to boost your mood and decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.
- It builds strength in your bones and muscles, which becomes more and more important over time.
- It increases flexibility and balance, decreasing your risk of falls as you age.
- It can improve the quality of sleep.
- It can reduce your risk of cancers and other life-threatening diseases.
- Overall, it improves your quality of life and can even extend your life expectancy.
There are a few extra special things about full body workouts that are worth noting, too. It all comes down to efficiency. When you focus your fitness regimen on full body workouts rather than activities that only work a particular muscle group, you’re doing more good for more parts of your body… and in less time!
Full body workouts can be a lower time commitment than their alternatives, which means you’ll have an easier time integrating them into your routine on a regular basis. Full body workouts — including yoga, of course — can feel a little less intimidating that way.
Check out our bulldog bites classes, for example – They’re all less than 30 minutes a pop so how’s that for an effective use of your time?
Here’s the thing…
The question shouldn’t be whether or not yoga is a full body workout.
Instead, it should be: “How do I have the best yoga workout possible so that I can reap all the benefits of the full body workout I’m going to get?”
We might be biased, but we think the answer to that question is to try out yoga classes for yourself – And be sure to try out a few different kinds of yoga flows to see which one fits you best.
You can get in on the best full body workout out there by checking out Bulldog’s amazing catalog of online yoga flows. And once you’re addicted to it, you can use our custom workout plans to develop the full body workout routine that will work best for you and your goals.