Yoga is known to be a complete package for fitness lovers. It burns calories, increases your body flexibility, strengthens your joints, relaxes your body and mind, and builds muscles too. With world’s best trainers like Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Denise Austin, all swearing by its effectiveness, yoga has become popular not just as a restorative and relaxing technique, but for its total muscle strengthening and sculpting benefits. Can you build muscle with yoga? And the answer is yes! Yoga not only makes you healthy, but also fills you with an inner strength that flows through your body. It makes both your body and mind strong. Now let us look at few techniques of yoga for muscle building.
Yoga For Muscle Building:
Here are 5 effective yoga techniques that will help you build lean muscles and get a ripped body. These flows combine isotonic and isometric movements to burn fat and condition the muscles. Do not forget to breathe through your nose throughout.
1. Downward Dog To Upward Dog:
This vinyasa flow is an integrated movement, which targets all the major muscles in your body – your arms, core, hips and legs. This flow involves the movement from plank to down dog to upward dog through chaturanga. It’s a beginner to the intermediary move.
- Get into the plank position, your shoulder blades pushed back, arms locked straight, abs tight and belly button sucked in. hold for 10 seconds.
- Now, inhale and push back your hips, lift your booty in the air and push your upper body towards your knees to get into the Downward Dog pose. Make sure your knees are not bent. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
3. Next, put your knees down and lower your torso until it is hovering just inches above the floor. Slide your torso forward and up into the Upward Dog. Open your chest and stretch your neck. You can touch the tops of legs on the floor if you feel like it, otherwise keep them lifted. Hold for 3-5 breaths and then lift back into the Down Dog.
Do this entire flow 8-10 times.
[ Read: Yoga Exercises For Stretching Your Body ]
2. Warrior 1 Variation:
This is a simple variation of the Warrior 1 pose. It is effective for your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. It tones and strengthens the muscles in your thighs and makes your legs stronger. Also, it lifts and tightens the butt.
1. Get into the Down Dog pose and lift your right leg straight and high into the air.
2. Put your right foot between your hands and lift your torso up into the warrior 1 pose. Make sure your left leg is straight and your left foot is pointing towards the side. Raise your arms straight overhead. Your right thigh should make a 90 degree angle. Hold the pose for 10 seconds.
3. Now, the only movement you will do is to straighten the right leg up and then lower back to the 90 degrees. Do this up and down movement 12-15 times without changing the position of the rest of your body.
4. Lower into the Warrior 1, hold for 3-4 breaths. Then put your hands on each side of your foot, push back that leg and get into the Down Dog position again.
5. Repeat the whole flow with the left leg.
3. Warrior III Variation:
In this variation, you move from the Crescent pose to the Warrior III pose. This is an intermediary to advanced pose as it involves a lot of balancing. It is again an effective move to strengthen and build those lower body muscles.
1. Get into the Crescent Pose by taking your left foot back and bending your right leg at 90 degrees. Keep your back straight, abs tight and arms raised overhead.
2. Now, push that right foot firmly into the ground. Straighten the right leg and at the same time lift your left leg up, lean your torso forward and straighten that left leg back. You can put your hand on your right thigh to balance. Otherwise, if your balance is good, you can straighten them forward.
3. Now slowly lower your body back into the Crescent. This was your one rep, do 10-12 on each side.
4. If you are an advanced practitioner and want to further intensify this flow, grab a pair of light dumbbells in your hands to work your upper body as well.
4. Bridge Pose:
This pose works your glutes and abdominal muscles really well. It not only tones the lower back and muffintops, but also strengthens your entire core.
1. Lie down on your back and put your feet on the floor.
2. Lift your hips and butt until you find a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Bring your shoulders in and clasp your fingers under your lifted body. Make sure your abs are tight.
3. Now, lower your butt down without touching the floor or your arms and lift up. Do this 10 times.
4. Now, lift your right leg straight up and again lower down and lift up. Do this movement 10 times. Then lower the leg.
5. Do the same with the left leg.
6. After doing both sides, hold the Bridge pose for another 10 seconds and then lower down onto the floor.
I’m sure it’ll leave your booty burning!
[ Read: Yoga Poses To Build Your Body Strength ]
5. Side Plank:
This move works on your arms, core, in fact your entire upper body and also your legs. It is very effective for those oblique muscles and cinching that waist.
- Get in the Plank position, arms locked, shoulder blades pushed back, hands under the shoulders, abs tight and body in a straight line.
- Shift your weight onto your right arm and lift your left side. Balance on your right side and place the left leg on top of right leg. Hold for 15 seconds.
3. Now raise the left leg up and grab your left big toe with your left hand. Hold for 10-12 seconds.
4. Lower your leg back and hold for 3-4 breaths.
5. Get back into the plank and hold for 10 seconds.
6. Now do the other side.
These yoga flows effectively work to strengthen and tone your body. With regular practice you’ll build lean and sculpted muscles. Do not forget to stretch before and after the session.
Do you practice yoga? Have you noticed any change in your muscle tone? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.
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