5 Yoga Poses For Building Strong Muscles
You probably already know that yoga can be a tremendous tool for improving flexibility, aiding balance, and deepening the connection between your mind and your body. But have you considered how yoga can help with strengthening and toning your muscles? If you’re looking to increase your muscle mass and make some serious gains, here are 5 poses you should add to your yoga practice.
Planks are a go-to power pose amongst yogis and athletes alike, thanks to their ability to deeply engage and challenge multiple muscle groups at a time. There are many variations of planks and nearly all of them work to strengthen your arms, core, back, and quads at the same time. For a traditional forearm plank, begin on your belly and bring your elbows beneath your shoulders. Lift yourself off the mat by engaging through your back, legs, and core. Be mindful of your form by keeping your spine straight and avoid arching or dipping your hips down. Hold for 30 - 45 seconds per set.
This pose is guaranteed to fire up your lower body while engaging your core, back, and shoulder muscles for an intense burn. Begin standing upright and slowly sit back as if you were in an invisible chair. Be sure to protect your knees by pulling back far enough to see the tips of your toes over your knee caps. Raise your arms above your head for an added challenge in your shoulders. Hold for 30 - 45 seconds.
If you’re looking to seriously tone up your thighs and lift your glutes, this challenging squat position is guaranteed to do the trick. Begin by spreading your legs into a wide stance. Next, sink down into a deep, wide squat with your knees in alignment with your toes. Squat down as far as you can comfortably go while still keeping your hips tucked in and back straight. Hold for 30 - 45 seconds or repeat a few up and down repetitions.
When it comes to powerful yoga poses, arm balances are perhaps the most challenging option. This beginner-level arm balance is the perfect way to strengthen your muscles and improve your balance at the same time. From a standing position, place your hands on the mat and bring your knees to the back of your forearms. Rock forward and practice lifting your feet off the ground while using your core and arms to balance. Play with this position until you find your balance point.
The secret to building strong, toned abdominal muscles is to engage the difficult to reach lower core area. This pose will fire up your core and leave you feeling stronger than ever before. Begin in a seated position and lean back while bringing your legs up until your body forms a “V” shape. Keep your arms stretched out in front of you and maintain a strong spine by keeping your abs tucked in. Hold for 30 - 45 seconds.
Add these poses to your yoga practice to achieve stronger, leaner muscles without lifting a single weight.