Does Yoga Tone Your Body?
While yoga can build and tone muscle, there is probably a limit to which it can help in creating and maintaining muscle mass. The key to building muscle is called progressive overload, the technique of adding more and more stress on the body with each workout. The most common forms of yoga don’t incorporate progressive overload extensively, though you may get results by performing Ashtanga Yoga. In general, if you’re looking to build bulk muscle, weight training is a more practical approach.
But… Does Yoga Build Muscle?
With that said, there are ways to build a yoga routine that is more suited for toning and building muscle if you’re not looking to bulk up! The reason weight training is more practical than yoga is that you can keep adding weight to what you’re lifting; in yoga, your maximum weight lifted is your body weight. The fact remains, the majority of the population can’t lift their own body weight, let alone more! If you’re just starting out in muscle training, yoga is likely to get you on the right path and help maintain healthy, toned muscles. If bulk muscle isn’t your concern, yoga is an incredibly well-rounded approach to muscle strength. You can focus on several muscles across the body at once, instead of only working on one body part at a time. Also, the development of the muscles through yoga is different; because your muscles stretch while contracting in yoga, the bodies of yogis are sleek and elongated. Weight training relies on the muscle getting smaller as it contracts, which can give muscles a thicker, bulging appearance. Yoga can also be a good supplement to weight training, stretching out the muscles to prevent them from healing too close together after training. Whether or not yoga is your answer for muscle training depends on your reasons and goals for building muscle.