Tag strength

Men Do Yoga

Men do yoga the same as women.

Men in India Originally Developed Yoga

While that may seem like a weird question at first, it is not. Think about it, even though the majority of photos we see today are of women doing yoga, or modelling yoga clothes and accessories in commercials, yoga was developed by men in ancient India. So we know that men can do yoga, and at one time not too long ago, dominated the yoga field.

So the better question frequently asked is “Why don’t more men do yoga?” The real answer is the perception of it in the male mind. Men are wired differently than women; most male sports are based on competiveness. Because yoga is non-competitive, many males view it as something not worth doing and therefore a “girly” sport.

In reality, their skewed perception couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, being the whole LA Laker basketball team does yoga, it must be something worth doing.

But in general, the real question remains: “Do men do yoga?”, especially in a mixed-gender setting.

Two misconceptions exist that prevent many men from participating in mixed gender yoga classes:

  • First would they be welcome in a yoga class dominated by females?
  • Second, are they flexible enough to participate in yoga?

Can Men Do Yoga in a Female Dominated Yoga Class?

With 77% of yogis being female, it can be overwhelming at first walking into a co-ed yoga class, especially if you are only one of a few, or even the only male in the whole class. But in most cases, it is not the women that is the problem – it is you.

Just remember all of you are there for the same reason – to improve both your physical and mental well-being. In most cases, gender is immaterial; the women will put out the welcome mat; you just have to graciously walk across it.

While still in the minority, male-practiced yoga is catching on; according to Yoga Journal’s own research, the number of males practicing yoga is increasing at the rate of 5% per year.

If for some reason you are uncomfortable practising in a female dominated class, search out a studio that offers all-male classes. Many of them now do.

Men Do Yoga But Flexibility is the Real Question

Because the postures or asanas were developed by men, many of them are more suited to men than women because of the upper strength needed to complete the pose; something most women lack in the beginning. But the flexibility question is real – women by nature are more flexible than men. Researchers aren’t sure why, but it is true. Also, men differ from women in that they tend to develop more muscles in some areas of their body while not in others – depending on which sports they practice. This muscle development can actually reduce flexibility.

Yoga not only loosens up developed muscles thus making them more flexible, men can increase their overall flexibility through yoga. And that is only one benefit; others include:

  • Increased mental sharpness
  • Less stress
  • Increased blood flow
  • Detoxification of the body, just to name a few

So the answer is yes, men can and should do yoga for a number of reasons. Check out a studio near you and join a class. Your body will thank you for it!

Build Muscle Without Weights

Build muscles without using weights.

Going to a gym five or more days a week to build up your muscle mass can be time consuming, really expensive, and it’s something that not everyone wants to do or can afford. Even if money is not an issue, the fact of having to “go to the gym” is.

What’s the alternative though?

The answer is that you can start building muscle mass right now and do it without using any weights or exercise equipment at all. Many people believe that you have to “pump some iron” or use heavy resistance equipment to build muscle mass. In reality, there are some really effective exercises you can do right in your home or office that can provide some really great results.

Using Your Own Body Weight to Build Muscles

The easiest and most common exercises you can do without using weights would be squats, pull-ups and push-ups in their most basic form. If you’re severely out of shape, beginners yoga or isometric exercises can be good, but some of these types of exercises can be tricky and it’s important that you perform them correctly.

Some Tips on Building Muscles Without Weights

Push-ups: When doing pushups, you might find that you can’t even manage to do a single push up. If this is you, then try to doing them on your knees as this reduces the difficulty greatly. If this is still too much for you then do your push-ups off the wall standing upright.

Once you can do a set of 10 start increasing the difficulty gradually like moving from standing upright to a set of stairs. Once you can do a set of 10, increase again by doing your pushups on your knees. Next, move to the full body pushup and once you get used to these, and you will in time, go back to the stairs putting your feet on the first step or two with your head facing downward for an even more intense muscle building workout.

Pull-ups: For doing pull ups you need a pull-up bar which can be mounted between a doorway. Pull-up bars are relatively inexpensive and it’s very important that the bar you use can easily sustain the weight of your entire body – plus some. If you can’t afford or do not have access to a pull-up bar, go to your local playground and use the monkey bars as your pull-up bar.

Just as in doing push-ups, if you are unable to do one single pull-up ask your spouse or a workout partner to help you take some of your weight off by assisting you in doing your first pull-ups. If help is unavailable or you’re just too shy to ask, use a stool to help reduce the weight that your arms need to lift. Continue with this help until you can do two pull-ups, and you will, then work on your own. Push yourself in each workout session until you can do 3, 4, 5…

And you will.

Squats: When you do squat exercises you want to put your hands behind your head then squat down while making sure that your knees do not go over your toes. What you want is to push your butt out and try to keep your knees behind your toes.

It’s a good idea to stretch your legs a bit before starting your squats then begin by squatting down as far as you can and then stand back up fully erect. These can be challenging at first but as you begin building up your leg muscles, and you will, they’ll get easier. Soon you’ll be doing complete squats and you’ll develop your ability to do more and more reps as time goes on.

Key Points When Building Muscles Without Weights

A key point to remember when you’re building muscle without using weights is that as you improve, and I’ll say it again… you will improve if you keep after it, is to constantly challenge yourself to do a little more in each session.

Another important point is that adding more reps without adding additional weight will increase your endurance level but not be as helpful at increasing your muscle mass. So, you’ll want to get creative of finding ways to keep up the intensity of your exercises.

A good way to increase your intensity is do things like placing your feet on a step or sofa while doing push-ups. When this gets easy to do move on to doing one arm push-ups… one arm pull-ups and one legged squats.

You get the idea. Just keep adding more resistance if you want to keep building muscle mass. Something as simple as a backpack with some bottles of water inside could do the trick once you get to this point. Each quart of water weighs right at 2 pounds each so you can easily judge what you’re adding each time.

As you can see, you can get pretty far at building muscles without buying weights or gym memberships just by using a little creativity. Visit http://MyFitnessNut.com for more muscle building tips and fitness ideas.