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I’ve been a longtime advocate for yoga people to fit in some strength building. In my experience, building strength has helped support my yoga practice. When you build muscle around the joints, the joints become more stable, and less likely to succumb to injuries related to hyperextension or poor form due to lack of strength (shoulder injuries from poor chaturangas, for example).
There are so many ways to build strength, and there’s no “right” way to do it. You’ve got to find what works for you. For me, I love weightlifting and I love trying to improve my Olympic lifts. From Instagram, I know so many of you are into it as well. If you’re working with the barbell on lifts like clean or snatch, you know how important it is to quickly get under the bar. A few months ago I worked with an Olympic lifting coach who taught me a really awesome trick for developing speed under the bar, so I thought I’d share it with you.
You’ll need a med ball that’s not so heavy that it thuds to the ground and doesn’t bounce at all, but you also don’t want one so light that it bounces really high after it hits the ground. I usually choose a ball around 8 - 10 pounds. Then, you’ll hold the ball with arms extended down about 45 degrees towards the ground. Your legs are straight, about hip distance or so. Let the ball drop, and the second you hear it drop, drop your hips into your catching position and catch the ball. Try not to look at the ball as you do it, and keep your chest upright. Repeat 10 - 15 times. You’ll probably work up a sweat - my heart was racing when I did it!! But it’s a really effective drill for developing speed under the barbell. You can see me doing it at the very beginning of the clip below.