Sometimes you just want a workout that does it all. You don’t want to do cardio one day only to have to go back to the gym the next day to work in some weightlifting — then on the following day, getting to a studio to practice a few of your yoga poses. Instead, why can’t there just be one workout that can combines the three? Great news — there is a workout like that available. The following fitness routines are a combination of yoga, cardio, and weights for the ultimate toning workout.
“Combining fast-paced movements with the added resistance of weights gives poses much more muscle carving and calorie burning power,” Erin Jacques, a co-founder of SLT Yoga, told Fitness. Ready to join in and blast fat? Try any of these three great routines.
About the Workout
Yoga that incorporates weightlifting can do a lot more for you than simply toning your muscles. According to Yoga Journal, using weights in your workout can help awaken some of your deep core muscles, helping to support your spine. In addition to helping your body maintain its muscle mass, it can also help with building up your bone density and improving your balance.
Yoga practices, such as breathing, can help you maintain your breath and stay focused when you’re lifting weights, which has the potential to let you push yourself even further during your workouts. When you’re incorporating the two, always hone in on your breathing. “I integrate the principles of vinyasa into weightlifting. There’s a time to inhale and a time to exhale. If you’re doing a biceps curl, you inhale to prepare; then you exhale as you curl your arm toward you. Take another breath in, and then exhale again as you lower your arm slowly,” Amy Ippoliti, a yoga instructor, told Yoga Journal.
1. Women’s Health
For a sculpted, well-balanced body, try this combination of yoga and weightlifting. Created by New York City yoga instructor Kristin McGee, you’ll flow into yoga postures while also focusing on upper-body strength exercises during this circuit workout, as shown in Women’s Health. Aim to do this workout three times a week, and make sure you have a pair of 3- to 5-pound weights on hand when you do it.
Chair Squat: Begin with your feet together, holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Keep your chest lifted, shoulders back and core tight, and sit your hips back while bending your knees (it should look like you’re sitting on a chair.) While you’re in a sitting pose, raise your arms overhead and in-line with your ears. Hold for a breath, then squeeze your glutes to stand and lower your arms to the side. That’s one rep — aim for 20.
Eagle Chest Fly: Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of you, keeping them at shoulder height, with your palms facing in. Cross your right leg over your left, loop your right foot behind your left ankle, and bend your left knee to squat as low as you can. Squeeze your shoulder blades and open your arms out to the sides, with your elbows slightly bent. Go back to start and you’re at one rep. Try to do 10 to 12, switch legs, and repeat.
Warrior 1 Row: Start with your pair of dumbbells at your sides and put your left foot flat on the floor about 3 feet behind your right (your toes pointed out), and bend your right knee into a lunge — the warrior 1 pose. With your back flat, lower your torso toward your front knee, keeping your arms straight. From this position, pull your shoulder blades together and bend your elbows to lift the weights to the sides of your chest. Nice and slowly, lower back to start. That’s one rep. Try to do between 10 and 12, switch legs, and repeat.
Warrior 3 Triceps Press: You’re going to begin in warrior 1. Lower your torso toward the floor, with yours arms extended straight down from your shoulders. Straighten your front leg and raise your back leg behind you as high as you can, keeping your core tight and back flat — this is warrior 3. Now, squeeze your shoulder blades and lift the weights to chest height. Straighten your arms and raise them toward the ceiling. In a nice, calm motion, return to start. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12, switch legs, and repeat.
This Fitness-inspired routine requires a mat and a set of 2- or 3-pound dumbbells. This routine will cover every important body part, including shoulders, arms, butt, quads, hamstrings, abs, obliques, and inner and outer thighs.
Rotating Half Jack: Start with a dumbbell in each hand, lunge back with your right leg, keeping your left knee bend 90 degrees, right leg straight with your toes pointing out, and extend your arms out to your sides with the palms down. Straighten your left leg and lift your arms overhead with your palms facing each other, rotating your torso to the right. Bend your right knee 90 degrees as you bend your elbows to bring your weights in front of your chest, palms facing each other. Return to the lunge position. Do 10 reps, switch sides, and repeat. Aim for three sets.
Wide Second Punches: Begin with your feet wide apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms by your sides. Bend your elbows 90 degrees in front of your chest, with your palms facing each other, and lower into a squat. Stay in squat position, and punch your right arm across the center of the body, slightly twisting the torso to the left. Retract your right arm and quickly punch your left arm toward the right. Do three sets of 20 reps, alternating sides.
High-Heeled Pulse: Stand with your feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand and bring your bent elbows in front of you so that your dumbbells are eye level and your palms are facing each other. Lower into a squat and lift the heel off the floor. Maintain your position and alternate punching each dumbbell up and down by a few inches. Try to do three sets of 20 reps.
Warrior Crunch: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet together, and arms by your sides. Lunge back with your right leg, bending your left knee 90 degrees and keeping your right leg straight with your toes pointing to the right. Bring the dumbbells by your ears, elbows pointing out, and rotate your torso to the right as you straighten your left leg. Bend your left knee 90 degrees again, rotating the torso back toward the left, and crunching to bring your right elbow to the left knee. Do 10 reps, switch sides, and repeat. Do three sets.
Crescent Kick: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms by your sides. Lunge back with your left leg, bending your right knee 90 degrees and slightly bending your left knee and keeping your heel lifted. Extend your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Now, drive your elbows down by your sides as you bring your left knee toward your chest, and then kick your left leg forward. Lunge back with your left leg as you extend your arms overhead. Do 15 reps, switch sides, and repeat. Do three sets.
If you’re looking for a few individual moves to incorporate into a yoga routine you already have, try one of these two moves, per fitbie. Working in a couple of these poses can help you build strength, and it even has the potential to help prevent running injuries, fitbie writes.
Horse with Lateral Raise: This will open your hips and strengthen your legs, arms, and shoulders. Here’s what to do: stand with your feet wide apart, legs turned out 45 degrees, with weights in both hands. Exhale while you bend your knees (keep your back straight!) and raise your arms to the side and overhead. Inhale while you lower the weights and strengthen your legs. Aim for 10 reps.
Half Chair to Chair: Including this pose in your yoga routine will build strength in your thighs, core, triceps, and shoulders. Begin with your feet together and inhale while lowering your hips and raising your arms overhead. When you exhale, lean forward and lower your arms. Inhale again, extending your arms past your hips. Exhale and squat deeper. Return to the beginning, and strive to do 10.