Endomorphs can be defined by certain characteristics and when it comes to choosing the best form of cardio, these characteristics need to be taken into consideration.
Running is usually the go-to option when it comes to cardio for a lot of people but a heavy endomorph does not feel that same appeal. It’s hard on the joints and endomorphs don’t have the muscle fiber structure to make the most of it.
Therefore, you’d want to look into low impact forms of cardio that burn body fat and there is one surprising form of cardio that ticks these boxes…. Yoga.
Is yoga good for endomorphs? Yoga is a great form of cardio for endomorphs. It’s a low impact form of cardio that is easy on your joints, raises your heart rate, increases your metabolism to promote fat burning and is easily accessible for beginners.
It’s common knowledge that endomorphs don’t like cardio and finding a suitable option can often be challenging. In this article, I’ll run through the benefits of yoga and why it could be one of the best forms of cardio for endomorphs.
Is Yoga Good for Endomorphs
Endomorphs are not as well suited to cardio as other body types. This isn’t a generalization or a false statement, if you have certain “endomorph” characteristics then a key one is a higher proportion of fast twitch muscle fibres.
Most endomorphs are better suited to high intensity, explosive, short bursts of activity so the thought of traditional forms of cardio can be off putting. An endomorph needs something that is easy on the joints but still allows them to work the cardiovascular system and muscle groups.
Yoga is one such form of cardio that is excellent for endomorphs in my opinion. It’s beneficial to all body types in fairness but this is something that needs minimal equipment, can be done from the comfort of your own home (if you choose instead of going to a class), and is easy for beginners to pick up.
If you are tired of pounding the pavements and ultimately, pounding your joints, yoga might just be the cardio source that you need.
Benefits of Yoga for Endomorphs
There are few forms of cardio that are as beneficial for endomorphs as yoga is. Below is just some of the benefits that endomorphs in particular can take from yoga.
The first is increased flexibility and a reduced muscle tightness. I’m going to stereotype a bit here, but endomorphs that are searching out these articles in the first place are usually coming from a relatively sedentary lifestyle.
Whilst getting active is important for endomorphs, flexibility is often something that gets ignored early on. A sedentary lifestyle leads to tight muscles which will have a chain reaction to issues when you start resistance training (which is something you should 100% be doing).
Therefore, flexibility is something that I personally consider to be most beneficial for choosing to do yoga. I can appreciate that this isn’t your primary concern though so some of these next benefits may be of a greater interest to you.
2. Faster Metabolism & Increase Heart Rate
The main benefit of yoga is the increased heart rate and faster metabolism that comes with it. Some yoga styles in particular can be very taxing on the cardiovascular system and it might surprise you to learn that yoga can burn up to 500 calories for a single session.
This is easily on par with other traditional forms of cardio like running and cycling but comes with the added benefit of improving flexibility and increased muscle strength/endurance.
The boosted metabolism and higher heart rate will stimulate the fat burning process which is essential for endomorphs looking to lose weight.
3. Low Impact
As endomorphs with larger/heavier bones and a heavier body weight perform more traditional forms of cardio like running, the impact on the joints is excessive and can easily lead to injuries, discomfort, inflammation, and other niggling (or serious) issues as a result.
Finding low impact exercises should always be a priority for endomorphs and yoga is not too far behind swimming in terms of the low impact during training. Slow and controlled movements with an emphasis on breathing all ensure that the muscles, ligaments, and tendons not only come under minimal stress but are also strengthened in the process.
4. Stress Reduction
Endomorphs will have certain hormonal tendencies that can lead to weight gain and stress is one of the main culprits.
Different people respond to stress differently and I’m not an expert in this field (Christian Thibadeau has great work on body type hormones) but endomorphs are more prone to higher levels of cortisol and stress eating which will contribute to weight gain.
Yoga is therefore good for endomorphs because of its stress reducing capabilities. The focus on breathing and being active and engaged in the moment will work wonders for your mood and stress. Yoga is after all a form of meditation and a reduced level of stress can only be a benefit.
5. Ease of Starting
Finally, yoga is something that is suitable and accessible for almost everyone. You need minimal equipment as most of the exercises are body weight based, it can be done from the comfort of your own home, and the workouts can be modified for beginners right the way through to advanced levels.
Best Types of Yoga for Endomorphs
There are mainly two types of yoga that are best suited to endomorphs. You are free to do any type of yoga that you want and all will have some benefits so don’t think I’m saying you need to do these yoga styles, rather these are good options if you display traditional endomorph characteristics.
A related example could come in the form of weight training. Any form of resistance training is designed to improve strength and muscle size but if your primary goal is strength training, it’s pointless doing a program that excludes big compound movements like the squat and deadlift.
In terms of yoga, you’ll see benefits to doing it in any form but some forms of yoga are better suited to endomorphs and could therefore yield better results. The two best types of yoga for an endomorph is:
Ashtanga yoga is very physically demanding and improves upper body strength and stamina (something many endomorphs lack), raises your heart rate significantly (expending more energy and burning body fat), and boosts their metabolism to keep the fat burning process active throughout the day.
The below is a very popular beginner ashtanga yoga workout that you can do from the comfort of your own home to test it out.
Vinyasa yoga is similar to ashtanga (ashtanga is even called ashtanga vinyasa yoga), it focuses on movements and is excellent for strengthening your muscles but it’s a more meditative style of yoga that also utilizes deep breathing to initiate movements. It’s often referred to as flow yoga for this very reason.
Below I’ve added another video for beginners in case this was something you wanted to try out.
The good thing about yoga is that I’ve just added some YouTube videos that you can do immediately. Other forms of cardio or exercise require equipment, dedicated space and/or certain skill requirements. Yoga is beginner friendly and is something that you can continuously progress to an advanced level.
The reason I added these videos and also encouraged you to look into it yourself is because people that practice yoga are typically in excellent physical condition and as a result of the breathing techniques used, they are often relaxed and stress free.
As mentioned earlier, stress is one of the biggest issues that resort to endomorphs gaining weight quickly and easily. While most forms of exercise will release endorphins, the focus on breathing in yoga will actively help to also reduce stress rather than just boosting mood through endorphins.
The above are the two most popular and best suited forms of yoga for endomorphs but feel free to look into any style that might appeal to you the most. There are dozens of yoga types that you can test out.
I’m going to be biased in my opinion that any form of exercise is good for an endomorph and doing something is undoubtedly better than doing nothing.
When it comes to yoga though, I really think this is a good thing for endomorphs to include in their routine, especially if you fall under this category and currently hold quite a bit of body fat.
Its low impact nature, reduction in stress, and contribution to calories burned means that it’s a very close contender to swimming for the best form of cardio for an endomorph.