Not only is having core strength vital for a good yoga workout, (check out 4 Easy Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Core and Tighten Your Abs) but having leg strength is just as important too.
Not only are legs the root of our bodies, but also they are the roots of most yoga poses. They provide us with support and balance too. Strengthening the legs will not only be beneficial towards a stronger yoga practice, but it can help with other forms of activity too – like running or dancing. Plus, toned legs are perfect to work for, since it is summer!
Check out these 5 moves to help get on the track of a better yoga practice and sexy, lean legs!
Chair pose is without a doubt one of the best moves to strengthen and tone legs. If you’re a beginner, be against the wall during this pose or have your arms parallel to the wall. Chair pose has some fantastic benefits too. It builds core strength, helps the knee joints, and builds muscle in not only the quads, but also the glutes! In the long run, it’ll also help elongate the back and is a great help with building better posture. After getting comfortable in Chair pose, try advancing it further with twists! Not only are those great for core strength, but it tests the limits with legs too.
A great source of stretching, Goddess pose also helps strengthen the legs too. Goddess pose is also a great for opening and stretching the hips. In terms of leg strengthening, it directly helps with building up the legs, mainly the quads and inner thighs, and the calves. Since the pose requires you to have your arms up, this pose is also a great shoulder workout. To advance into the pose more, try holding it longer and eventually work twists into it too.
Squat pose is another one of those fantastic poses that not only strengthen, but they help stretch your muscles. Don’t be fooled by how easy it may look in pictures, once in the pose, holding it for longer periods of time gets very difficult. Like Goddess pose, this pose also helps to open the joints like the hips and inner thighs. Squat pose also helps with stretching the ankles and feet, and gives a nice massage to the digestive organs. Don’t be intimidated if your feet can’t touch the floor completely. Just grab a block or a pillow to help support your feet. When the time comes to advance, hold for longer times or slowly begin to do twists.
One of the most beautiful looking poses and more advanced of the bunch, Dancer’s pose not only helps strengthen and stretch, but also it begins to build balance. It’s a great quad and hip stretcher too! If you’re new to the pose, don’t be afraid to have a wall or desk nearby to help with support. If you can’t grab your foot all the way, that’s no problem too! Just grab a strap and wrap it around your leg, holding the other ends with your hand. As you become more advanced, like the tips given with all poses thus far, hold it longer and see how much more strength you gain.
The final pose to discuss is Warrior I, which is the ultimate pose for not only strength, but also balance and stretching. In terms of stretching, doing Warrior I helps stretch your hips, ankles and your abs. In terms of strengthening, it not only targets your ankles and thighs, but also your arms and part of your core. The reason it targets your core sometimes is because this pose also helps improve balance. In the long run, Warrior I helps with endurance and balance, all while making your legs look fantastic. As you advance, try going deeper into the pose by moving your legs further apart!