Sorry, This is a trick question because if you are working on your flexibility then you definitely need some strength training. Let me explain.
If you can imagine an elastic band as your muscles in the body. When we stretch and stretch them, over time they become weak, overstretched, brittle, can snap and they don’t retract to their original state.
Now if they were really strong and they could gain strength then they wouldn’t end up so misshaped, brittle or snap. The same things happen with our muscles. If we do not work on strengthening we can cause injury within the body. Now there are other factors included with this like hydration and health for example but strength is definitely something we should be focusing on if we are working towards flexibility.
First I would like to give you a few examples of how you know you need to work on these and then I’ll explain how you can.
You definitely need to work on strength if…
- You end up not being able to hold some poses for at least 5 breathes
- If you get cramping easy
- If one side feels different to the other
- You struggle with flexibility
- You don’t feel stable in poses
As an example of this. I can do wheel with 1 leg in the air on one side but not the other. For years I thought this was because of my flexibility when I recently learned that it is actually to do with the strength in my leg to hold myself up. One side is ALOT stronger than the other (this happens to a lot of people).
Are there any poses that you can see where you may not be strong enough to do them on one side?
The good thing is we can easily correct this. Here are a couple of ways…
- If you sit crossed legged, put the other leg on top, the one that you don’t usually. (notice these little things in the day
- When doing yoga add a little strength, turn on the muscles, hold plank for a second longer etc.
- Add some strength training before or after your practice (New video coming tomorrow, I will link below when it is available)
- Do some squats or burpees before bed or when you wake up
- Add some wrist or ankle weights to your practice
- Have a look at Lakora Studio (we have a strength section) – click here
These are just a few ways but there are plenty more.
Being flexible can help with so many things and it will definitely help cause less pain in the body UNLESS you take it to the extreme. Meaning if you practice too often or if you work only on flexibility and nothing else and don’t support you body by strengthening the muscles as well.
Muscles are made to contract and relax this means we need both of them things for them too function properly. If we are constantly focusing on relaxing to gain flexibility when it comes to contracting the muscles, they may not have enough strength to do so and can’t support your body like they should.
Make sure you are focusing on both!
Have questions? Let me know in the facebook group – click here to join and ask away