Maximize Results By Combining Yoga & HIIT
The effects of yogic exercise and its ability to increase an individual’s aerobic capacity are seldom studied. Yoga is widely understood to confer benefits to a person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well being, and studies that compare the effects of yoga and exercise seem to indicate that yoga is more effective than exercise at targeting health-related outcome measures in both healthy and diseased populations (Ross & Thomas, 2010). A recent study by Desai et al. (2017) supports the idea that high-speed yoga produces significantly greater muscle activation than regular speed yoga, and offers health benefits beyond those of traditional aerobic and strength training.
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Twenty-two adults with at least one year of yoga experience who practiced yoga at least twice a week performed a maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) test on the treadmill on the first day of the study. On the second and third day, muscle activation patterns during a sequence of yoga poses were evaluated using electromyography (EMG) during the high-speed yoga condition or the standard-speed yoga condition. Participants were randomized between the two conditions, the testing sessions were one hour and the study lasted two weeks.
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What They Found:
While the study did not find a significant difference in activation levels of specific muscles during either the standard-speed yoga pose sequence or the high-speed yoga pose sequence, there was a significant difference in EMG amplitude (greater muscle activity) during the transition phase of high-speed yoga, compared with the amplitude measured during the transition phase of standard-speed yoga. Put simply, the researchers found that muscle activation during an overall yoga sequence (held pose and transition phase combined) does not differ from standard-speed yoga to high-speed yoga. However, the higher frequency of transition phases in high-speed yoga leads to a significant difference in muscle activity than standard-speed yoga.
The results of this study indicate that high-speed yoga that integrates yogic exercises with a high rate of transition phases is an aerobically challenging exercise similar to high intensity interval training.
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To conclude, this study conducted by Desai et al. (2017) indicates that high-speed yoga produces significantly greater muscle activation during the fast-paced transition sequences than regular speed yoga, with similar health benefits of high intensity interval training. Future research must thoroughly examine the combination of plyometric integrated fast-speed yoga and HIIT to maximize overall health.
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You Might Like:
Desai, T., Massoni-Martins, M., Mooney, K., Potiaumpai, M., Rodriguez, R., Signorile, J., & Wong, C. (2017).
Difference in Muscle Activation Patterns During High-Speed Versus Standard-Speed Yoga: A
Randomized Sequence Crossover Study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 30, 24-29.
Ross, A. & Thomas, S. (2010). The Health Benefits of Yoga and Exercise: A Review of Comparison Studies.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16, 3-12.