Building Muscles with Yoga
Yoga can be a great way to de-stress and relax, but it can also be a great tool to help train and build muscles in places you didn’t know you had! For many, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises and heavy weight lifting sounds terrible, you shouldn’t have to endure something you dread just to get and stay in shape. Yoga is a great alternative for those who would like to still train muscles that would sometimes be ignored or not particularly looked forward to. Below is a list of yoga poses to practice that can work the same muscles that a normal workout at the gym would!
Also known as Warrior Pose, this one’s great for those looking to work out the inner thighs and triceps. These can be pesky areas to remember to work out, so this pose isn’t too difficult and can even tone the butt as well. When practicing this pose, remember to keep one leg bent at a 90 degree angle, and to not bend your upper body over that knee. Keep your shoulders back and arms raised straight up, arching your back slightly as if trying to reach behind you.
The boat pose is extremely efficient in building up your balance, and specifically targets the muscles in your abdominal that must be activated to keep your body in place. Sitting down on your mat, bring your legs straight in front of you, and slowly lift them off the ground, leaning back slightly to find your balance. Raise your arms straight ahead, as if you’re caging your body inside. This will help to find your balance, as well as remembering to breathe deeply and purposefully. This pose also targets the hamstrings, arms, glutes, and thighs. Overall, it’s a great pose to know!
Triangle Pose. This helps to strengthen the legs, arms, knees, and ankles, while also stretching the lower back and massaging the spine. Personally, I like to practice this pose with two 5 lbs weights, but you can do this one without them just as well! Step your legs out until you’re in a standing split. Bend your upper body towards one outstretched leg, making sure to take your time, especially if you’re holding weights or just not as flexible. While one arm reaches down towards your foot, the other should be raised up in the air at an angle, so your arms make one continued line from fingertip to fingertip. Keep your back straight, only bending at the hips.