30-Minute Yoga and Strength-Training Workout for All Your Needs


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As a personal trainer, I coach an array of athletes with dramatically different needs. But regardless of their specific situation, I approach one aspect of their training in a similar way by combining yoga and strength training into a single workout.

What results is a comprehensive, challenging, dynamic, and time-efficient workout. It challenges larger muscle groups through traditional strength training, whether with external weights or bodyweight exercises. It also targets those smaller and easily overlooked muscles through yoga, which also increases flexibility, improves balance, and builds body awareness. And it takes only 30 minutes.

It also lets you sneak the exercises you care least about into your routine without forcing you to do an entire strength training session or hour-long yoga class.

How to Combine Yoga and Strength Training

I prefer circuit training, in which you move quickly from one bodyweight exercise or yoga pose to the next. I also include cardio blasts such as jumping jacks and then finish with some fairly intense yoga stretches as a cool down.

But there isn’t a right or wrong way to incorporate yoga and strength training into your gym workout. Some athletes prefer to practice their strength exercises and finish with a yoga cool-down. Others bookend their strength training and cardio with stretching and strengthening yoga poses as a warm-up and cool-down.

I’m often asked, “But can I do yoga and strength training in the same workout?” The answer is a resounding yes. Doubling up on different exercises that target the same muscles activates them differently and challenges you to build muscular endurance.

30-Minute Yoga and Strength Training Workout

I recommend not blasting music or a podcast too loudly in the background so that you can tune into your body and your breath. If you’re new to strength training, focus on maintaining safe form with light weights. You can always build up to increased load later.

Preparing for Cat and Cow (Photo: Andrew Clark)

Warm-up

CatCow | 30 seconds

☐ Bodyweight Squats | 30 seconds
From standing, sit your hips back, bend your knees to 90 degrees, and then return to standing. Repeat.

☐ Trunk Twists | 30 seconds
Stand with your arms straight out in a T-shape. Twist side to side by initiating movement from your core.

Boat Pose
Boat Pose strengthens your entire core, including your easily overlooked lower back muscles. (Photo: Andrew Clark)

Workout

☐ Bodyweight Jump Squats | 30 seconds
Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then explosively spring into a vertical jump. Bend your knees as you land and transition into your next bodyweight jump squat.

☐ Squats With a Barbell  | 10-12 reps
Hold the weight(s) with your palms facing forward and the barbell resting across your upper traps as you bend your knees to 90 degrees and then return to standing. You can use dumbbells in place of a barbell.

Chair Pose | 30 seconds

☐ High Knees Sprinting in Place | 30 seconds

☐ Step-Ups on a Plyo Box With Single-Arm Dumbbell Overhead Press | 10 reps per leg
Lead with your left side 10 times while overhead pressing with your left arm and then lead with your right side 10 times with dumbbell overhead press in your right arm.

Tree Pose | 20-30 seconds per leg

☐ Reverse Lunges with Single-Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raises | 10 reps on each side
Step your right leg back and bend both knees 90 degrees to lower yourself as you lift the dumbbell in your right arm straight out to the side. Press back up to standing as you return the weight to your side. Complete your reps and switch sides.

Warrior I Pose | 30 seconds per leg

☐ Jumping Jacks | 30 seconds

☐ Kettlebell Sumo Squats | 12 reps
Stand with your feet wide and your feet turned out about 15 degrees. Hold the kettle bell against your sternum with both hands and then bend your knes to 90 degrees and return to standing.

☐ Goddess Pose | 30 seconds

☐ Side Lunge With Bicep Curls | 10 reps per leg
Lunge to the side with your right leg as you curl with your left arm across your body toward your right leg. Then lunge to the left and curl with your right arm across your body toward your left leg.

Warrior 3 Pose | 30 seconds per leg

☐ Mountain Climbers | 30 seconds
From Plank (or push-up position), alternate stepping your feet forward and under your chest while keeping your core engaged and your hips facing the mat. Do this at a running pace.

☐ Dumbbell Chest Press or Barbell Bench Press | 10 to 12 reps
Lie on a flat bench with your hands holding the weights just above your armpits. Press straight up as you extend your arms and then lower all the way back down.

Chaturanga | 30 seconds

☐ Assisted Pull-Ups or Lat Pull-Downs | 12 reps
Change from the bar with your palms facing away from your body and pull yourself up or use the lay pull-down machine with your palms facing away from your body and pull the bar down towards your sternum.

☐ Hamstring Curls With Stability Ball | 12 reps
Lie on your back and place your heels on the ball and your arms at your sides. Dig your heels into the ball as you bend your knees and drag it towards your butt.

Bridge Pose | 30 seconds

Forearm Plank | 30 seconds

☐ Bird Dog | 12 reps per side

☐ V-Ups | 10 reps
Beginners can start with tuck-ups where you bend your knees. Why on your back with your arms straight overhead and your legs extended in front of you. Engage all of your core muscles to fold into the V as you reach your hands up towards your feet. Slowly lower back down, hovering over the ground without fully coming to a rest.

Boat Pose | 20-30 seconds

☐ Superman | 12 reps.
Lie on your belly with your arms extended straight alongside your head and your legs straight behind you. Simultaneously engage your lower back and glutes to lift your upper body and lower body off of the ground and then slowly lower back down. Repeat.

☐ Side Plank | 30 seconds per side

Man practicing Downward-Facing Dog Pose, one of the most basic yoga poses
Downward-Facing Dog stretches your entire back body, from your head to your heels, and strengthens your arms and shoulders. (Photo: Andrew Clark)

Cool down

Downward-Facing Dog Pose | 20 seconds

Triangle Pose | 20 seconds per side

Savasana | 2 minutes or longer

I typically encourage athletes to practice one set all the way through, from warm-up to cool down. You can work up to practicing a second set of the workout for an hour-long training session.

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