Why You Should Add Yoga To Your Workout Routine

When you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson working out, what image comes to mind? Chances are, you picture these men, with biceps the size of your face, benching a midsize Chevy truck. Maybe you imagine them squatting a small house or cranking out 100 pull-ups in under a minute. Whatever you thought of, we highly doubt it was yoga.

But at Steel Fitness Riverport, we want to change your conception of yoga as merely a stretching class. Instead, we believe yoga is an asset to any fitness routine. Dedicating even one day a week to yoga can make you stronger, more focused, and, of course, more flexible. Consider the specific ways that yoga can enhance your workout routine, and then drop into a class at your local gym in Bethlehem to give it a chance.

Our Pulse X Schedule for group fitness classes at Steel Fitness Riverport offers multiple yoga classes for a reason. Stop by today and supplement your fitness routine with yoga group fitness classes.

Yoga Builds Strength

Push-Ups

While it is typically called “chaturanga” or “your vinyasa flow,” yoga class involves push-ups — a lot of them, we might add. Unlike push-ups you might already have included in your gym routine, yoga push-ups primarily build forearm strength while they also tone your deltoids and pectoralis muscles. Going through these forearm chaturanga push-ups at a sequenced pace also helps you to prioritize good form in your push-ups. Finally, when it comes to push-ups, you can always add as many as you want. If you feel like you aren’t getting a good enough strength workout in your yoga class, add a double push-up or try a one-legged variation of the forearm push-up.

Full-Body Engagement

Yoga poses also encourage engagement from every single muscle in your body. Whereas a more traditional workout might isolate legs, abs, or arms depending on the day, a yoga practice gives you a full-body workout by design. Take chair pose, a foundational yoga posture, for instance. Chair pose works your biceps, quadriceps, abductors, glutes, hamstrings . . . and we could continue through practically every muscle in the human body. When you commit to proper engagement throughout your body during a yoga pose, you will experience how challenging yoga can truly be. You will leave feeling sore in muscles you didn’t even think you worked out, simply because you practice full-body engagement.

Bandhas for Nuanced Strength

If you have a fitness routine already and go to your local gym even a few times a week, you have probably already developed strength. Yoga, though, teaches you to build strength in areas of your body that you would have never thought to engage. While bulging biceps or six-pack abs are “showy” muscles that you can flex, your internal core muscles are actually more important to overall health.

In yoga, the “bandhas” refer to energy locks in your body. In other words, bandhas are areas of your body that you can engage and disengage strategically to either encourage strength or relaxation. Your three main bandhas are the mula bandha (a few inches below your navel), your uddiyana bandha (by your core), and your jalandhara bandha (by your throat). If these seem like foreign concepts, that just further shows why you should try out yoga. You’d be amazed to see how engaging your core (uddiyana bandha) in a specific way can help you add more weight to the squat rack, do more sit-ups in a minute, or even do one-armed push-ups.

Yoga and Lung Capacity

Remember your last core workout, maybe it was sit-ups or a plank, where you forgot to breathe the entire time? You ended the sequence feeling winded, light-headed, and generally weak because you were not giving your muscles any Oxygen. Yoga classes force you to consider your breath as an active component of your fitness routine. By moving through postures on inhales and exhales, you build breath awareness and experience the correlation between breath and power. Additionally, yoga encourages you to maximize your inhales and exhales by focusing on breathing from your diaphragm all the way up to your throat. This means you are taking in more air and activating all organs of your respiratory system. If you engage in any cardiovascular activity such as running or swimming, take a yoga class at Steel Fitness Riverport and just see how much it enhances your favorite workout.

Yoga Builds Balance

Even if you have the most intelligent fitness routine, chances are you have tendencies that get your body out of balance. Whether you spend more time on your right side as you stretch, compensate for a heavy squat by putting more weight into your dominant leg, or even just stand with weight to one side of your body, you are upsetting your body’s equilibrium. It is nearly impossible to be fully balanced because daily activities send us askew every day, but yoga and its focus on both sides can really help to reset your body’s balance.

Balancing Postures

When is the last time you included balancing exercises in your general fitness routine? Nearly all yoga classes include a balancing series, but here’s the secret: balancing postures are really just core workouts disguised by being on one leg. To balance on one leg requires incredible core engagement and stability, which means you are also working out as you enhance your brain’s vestibular system (balance). Balancing postures are tough, and they will require you to engage all parts of your body and brain in order to be successful. To ramp up your fitness routine, take a yoga class at your local gym and see how your body responds.

Mental Focus and Resilience

In yoga, it’s called “drishti,” but in a fitness gym world it’s really just focus. Balancing postures in yoga require you to set your gaze on an un-moving point, quiet your mind, and maintain full-body engagement. Otherwise, you’ll fall out of the pose. The mental energy that balancing requires easily translates into your workout routine. That time you thought you couldn’t do one more rep; that other time when you hurt yourself because you lost your focus; and, yes, even that moment when you tripped on your jump rope. Developing balance and body awareness through yoga is an incredible way to bring it to the rest of your fitness routine. Try a class at Steel Fitness Riverport, your local gym in Bethlehem, and bring balance to your workout routine.

Yoga Builds Flexibility

We know this is probably the first benefit you associate with yoga, but have you thought about why flexibility is a benefit to your fitness routine in the first place? After all, you can just cool down and stretch after your workout, so why go to a yoga class for the stretching?

Deep Stretching

The difference is that we usually hold yoga stretches for much longer, which promotes the stretching of fascia (the body’s connective tissue). Think of fascia like a gel between our body’s tendons and ligaments. When the fascia gets warm, it becomes more liquid and helps to lubricate your body’s muscle system. When the fascia cools down, it gets more solid and tends to get stuck. Repeated exercises, postures, and routines can also “stick” the fascia in place, leading to soreness and tightness. Yoga stretches get into the deep tissue of your muscle, encouraging the fascia to move freely and release from certain spots.

Twists and Internal Stretching

When is the last time you explicitly stretched your ascending and descending colon? That’s what we thought. Yoga poses allow us to give attention to areas of the body we didn’t even know needed our focus. When you engage in twists and cool down at the end of yoga classes, you focus on your digestive health and help to reduce inflammation in your colon. Not only does this promote general health, but it also helps to purify your body and restore for your next workout.

Steel Fitness Riverport offers yoga classes every week for those who want to enhance their fitness routine. The next time you’re at our local gym in Bethlehem, take a yoga class and see how it transforms your workout routine.

 

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Benefits of Family Fitness

Regular exercise is great for the body — that’s no secret. Exercise + nutrition = healthy success. This is the tried and true recipe for good health, and when it comes to good health, there is no such thing as the “right” age.

Kids, parents, and grandparents alike can all benefit from a visit to the local gym in Bethlehem, Steel Fitness Riverport. We are a family-friendly facility that emphasizes the many different exercise needs of a family. And we do our best to give them to you.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly gym, you’re looking for Steel Fitness Riverport.

There’s something different for everyone, which is why we are a gym with child care, group training sessions, personal trainers, free weights areas, and SilverSneakers classes. The beauty of each of these exercise options is they all come with a passionate gym staff who wants the same thing for you as you do: RESULTS!

The most important benefit of going to the gym as a family is a focus on health and the hard work it takes for everyone to reach their own goals. Now, let’s take a look at how different members of the family may benefit from what Steel Fitness has to offer.

A Fitness Center For The Family

Let’s start with the kiddos.

Gym With Child Care

Young children don’t have to be a reason for a parent to stay home from the gym. Sure, you could do lunges around the house while you rock your baby to sleep. But that’s not anyone’s first preference. Instead, bring your child to Steel Fitness, where our caring and nurturing staff can look after the youngin’s while the adults get their sweat on. Our child care center can watch infants as young as 12 weeks.

The benefit of children visiting the child care center at our gym is socialization in a healthy environment. Kids can learn to play together in an active way, so everyone leaves the gym after burning some energy.

Youth Training

S.O.S. No, we aren’t lost at sea. We are hosting Sport-specific Off Season training: S.O.S. Tweens and teenagers can participate in our youth athletic programs, whether they are actually training for a favorite sport during the off season or just want an opportunity to be more physically fit and to train with peers.

S.O.S. provides a safe and fun learning environment where youths can learn and practice proper movements and skills.

The benefit of young athletes participating in an S.O.S. training program is they will notice an improvement in speed, agility, and overall athletic performance.

S.O.S. is available in group training sessions or in personal sessions. No matter the setting, each person will receive help setting personal goals, coaching on how to achieve those goals, and tracking results along the way.

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Now for the adults.

Individual Training

If you’re the type of person who likes to put on some good music (or maybe your favorite podcast) and get into your own workout routine, then you won’t be disappointed at Steel Fitness. Our gym has more than 60 pieces of cardio training equipment, free weights up to 150lbs, and other strength machines that can all be used together to help people see results. Whether you are a workout novice or a true gym veteran, you’ll find what you need to complete your own workout routine.

The benefit of individual training is there are no time limits or reservations required in this part of the gym. You build and complete your own workouts at your own pace.

Personal Training

Say you need a bit of motivation and structure to help you get your rear in gear at the gym. Hire a personal trainer to be your dedicated coach. Nothing beats private instruction when it comes to specific goals. Personal training is great for people who want to lose weight, improve technique, increase strength, prepare for an event, or just want a bit of personalized attention in the gym.

The benefit of personal training is each session is totally unique based on the current goal and the progress thus far. Our coaches are motivational, supportive, and knowledgeable about fitness in any form.

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Group Classes

Now we’re getting into our specialty here at Steel Fitness. We. Love. Group Fitness. With an average of eight classes offered each day, adults can mix up their workout routine without spending hours researching one at home. Group fitness classes are available with the Pulse X or Pulse SGT membership levels.

The benefit of group classes is they are a mixture of individual workouts and personal training. There is an instructor leading every class to provide structure and motivation — like personal training. But each person is largely held personally responsible for choosing which classes to take and then exerting as much energy as they like to get the most out of their workouts.

Our group training sessions include a variety of workouts. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Spin: This spin bike class in our cycling studio is one that will get your heart pumping, sweat pouring, and legs burning. It’s a great mixture of cardio and strength training.
  • Rise And Grind Bootcamp: Burn calories and tone muscle during this circuit-style training session. Kick start your body first thing in the morning so it can effectively burn those calories for the rest of the day.
  • Yoga: This class helps us remember that exercise is as good for your brain as it is for your body. Yoga combines strength, balance, and flexibility exercises into a calming atmosphere to help restore the mind, body, and spirit. It is a must for people of all fitness levels.
  • Anti-Gravity Fitness: This one-of-a-kind total body workout takes place above the ground in a hammock-like apparatus. It combines yoga, pilates, and calisthenics exercises.

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SilverSneakers

Steel Fitness Riverport is a proud partner with SilverSneakers. We gladly welcome our community’s wisest members to workout in our gym. Alongside having access to the entire gym, older adults are invited to our specific SilverSneakers classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The benefit of SilverSneakers is like-minded adults can get together to improve overall well-being, strength, and social aspects. The goal is to get fit, have fun, and make friends!

As you can see, there are many positive individual reasons to bring the whole family to the gym. However, there is also one benefit that impacts the family unit. A family who exercises together gives the grandparents and parents an opportunity to teach the kids about the importance of physical and mental health. Through this endorphin-pumping thing we call exercise, families can become closer knit and can always have something in common.

 

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Benefits of a Personal Trainer

A lot of people walk into their local gym thinking they know what they need to do. A little bit of cardio and a little bit of strength training and they should be good to go. However, there is so much more that should be considered when you are creating your workout plan. Factors such as your current physical abilities and the goals you have for your personal fitness should really be taken into consideration. These can affect the intensity and duration of the exercise you should be doing to give you the best results possible from your workout. This is exactly why spending time with one of our personal trainers can help you get more out of your time in the gym.

A Personal Trainer Can Help You Get Results Faster

When you meet with a personal trainer, they’ll spend that first session evaluating your current fitness level and comparing it to the goals that you have for yourself. You might want to lose weight, gain muscle, or train for an event; whatever it is, they’ll focus on your goals and develop a plan that will help get you there. Your personal trainer will develop workout routines that maximize your time in the gym, so you aren’t wasting time on exercises or machines that aren’t doing anything for you. Instead, you’ll have a focused plan that’s geared towards delivering results as quickly as possible.

…Even If You Meet With Them Once

Working with a personal trainer doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. Sometimes, meeting with them one time is enough to give you a roadmap towards achieving your fitness goals. They can give you a plan after just one or two sessions which allows you to confidently workout, knowing you are doing what’s necessary in order to get the results you want.

Working With a Trainer Long-Term Yields Even More Benefits

Of course, working with a personal trainer over a longer period of time can bring you even more benefits. They’ll do some much more than counting your reps. When you continue to work with a personal trainer, benefits include:

  • Having someone there who can mix up your routine to keep you interested in your workout. Doing the same thing every time you come to the gym can get really old, really fast.
  • Trainers can be constantly evaluating your progress and refining your plan. Maybe you are dropping weight quickly and now need to focus on building muscle tone. Your trainer can look for the signs that it’s time to change to something new.
  • Someone to hold you accountable. It’s easy to skip a workout (or two or ten) when you only have yourself to answer to. When you know that your trainer will be there to follow up with you, it can provide the motivation that you need to pull yourself out of bed and hit the gym. You’ll thank your trainer later.
  • Lifestyle support that goes beyond your time in the gym. Fitness is a lifestyle, and your personal trainer can help coach you on ways to make it a part of your life outside of Steel Fitness. That can include changes in your habits and how to fuel your body with the right nutrition.

Want to See What a Personal Trainer Can Do For Your Workout?

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the gym or if you aren’t seeing the results that you want when you look in the mirror, it’s time to partner with a personal trainer. Our trainers love working with people of all ages and abilities and helping them achieve their fitness goals! Get in touch with our local gym in Bethlehem and arrange for a session with one of our trainers today.

 

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Benefits of Spin Class

The spin classes at Steel Fitness are great for both those people who haven’t visited our local gym and those folks who make us a part of their daily routine. Spin classes are fun, extremely motivating, and help you shred calories in a big way so you can start to see results in the mirror sooner. In a 45-minute class, you can burn up to 500 calories, way more than you’ll burn walking on a treadmill (and way more fun, too!). But burning calories isn’t the only benefit you can expect from a spin bike workout. Check out some of the other awesome benefits you can expect when you spin.

Experience the Benefits of a Spin Class

Tone Muscle

Spinning classes are great for toning muscles, and not just in your legs. Your spin instructor will take you through various moves and challenges that will bring you a full body workout (you’ll feel it the next day, in the best way possible). Spinning is great for building lean muscle, too, so if you are worried about bulky muscle mass, then this is the class for you.

Great Cardio

Cardio should be a big focus of your workout routine. That’s because it gets your heart pumping and helps make it stronger–it is a muscle, after all. All that spinning is great for your lungs, too, as you learn to control your breath during your workout.

Low Impact

If you have trouble with your knees or ankles, spin bikes may be exactly what you need to integrate into your fitness routine. That’s because spinning is a low-impact exercise like swimming or yoga. It doesn’t put pressure on your joints and exercises can be easily adjusted to keep you comfortable.

Customizable

Spinning is perfect for every fitness level because it’s so easily customizable. You’ll be able to adjust the tension on your bike to suit your fitness level, so you can take it easy if you need to or push yourself to the next level when you are ready. No matter how easy or hard you are spinning, you’ll still be a part of the team and won’t be holding anyone back (unlike on a real bike!).

Mood Booster

Spinning is great for your body, sure, but it’s also incredible for your emotional and mental health. When you come to a spin class, you’ll be cheered on by your instructor, encouraged by your classmates, and driven to keep pushing yourself by high-energy music and a fun environment. By the time you leave, the endorphins will be pumping and you’ll be ready to take on whatever comes next.

Ready to experience a spin class workout for yourself? Steel Fitness offers a variety of classes at times that are convenient to your schedule. Find the class and the instructor who are right for you. Not a member of our local gym yet? You can get a free pass and come check it out for yourself! We’re looking forward to seeing you in one of our classes soon and showing you how the right local gym can help you achieve your fitness goals.

 

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