Muscle Gain Yoga Poses
Typically, when one thinks of yoga, drawn-out stretches, toning, and relaxation come to mind. Not many individuals realize that this form of exercise can also help to build muscle power. Yoga is a lot more than just glorified bending and stretching. When administered correctly, certain yoga movements and positions can work your muscles, strengthen your core, and also help support and improve the use of the muscle that you have already gained.
Did you know? Yoga poses depend on your own body to be the “weight” and targets the muscles that are often overlooked during weight training.
The great thing about a yoga workout is that it can be done anywhere and at any time, so if hitting the gym and lifting weights for a good hour is out of the question, why not give these 5 ultimate muscles gaining poses a go? Time to grab your yoga mats!
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
The Chair Pose targets your lower body and places a lot of pressure on your legs, strengthening them in the process. While holding this position, you will engage your hip flexors, glutes, adductors, and quadriceps as you bend your knees and balance your body in a chair-like pose. As you hold the Chair Pose, you will also notice that tension is placed on the trunk of your body – this means that your front and lower back of your core is also straining muscles to hold the pose effectively.
How To Do The Chair Pose:
1. Start by standing straight with your feet together.
2. Inhale and as you do so, sit back as if you were slowly falling into a chair. At the same time, raise your arms towards the sky.
3. If you can feel your shins moving back, then you know you’re doing it right.
4. Hold for 5 seconds, slowly release, and come back into a standing position.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
If you ever want to do your back a favor, we encourage you to include the Bridge Pose into your workout routines. This yoga position works on flexing and stretching the muscles in your back, chest, and spine and at the same time, it also strengthens muscles in your hips, hamstrings, and glutes. While holding this pose is enough for a good stretch, if you want to build muscle, then you need to add a little more force (see number 5 in the “how to” instructions below).
How To Do The Bridge Pose:
1. Start by lying on your back, feet hip-width apart.
2. Inhale and move your hips towards the sky, inch by inch.
3. Now, tilt your pelvis so that your tailbone feels like it’s moving towards the back of your legs.
4. Clasp your hands underneath you and put pressure on your arms as you continue to lift your hips.
5. Visualize yourself squeezing a foam roller between your thighs as you open your chest and lower your shoulder blades.
Forearm Plank (Makara AdhoMukhaSvanasana)
Got your yoga pants on? OK, let’s go! The Forearm Plank pose is a popular yoga position that’s used in many exercise routines. It’s tough to hold this pose at first, but as you continue to strengthen your body, especially your core, you’ll eventually be able to maintain your plank formation for minutes instead of just seconds. If you want to build muscles and sculpt them at the same time, then the Forearm Plank is the perfect overall muscle-building pose.
How To Do The Forearm Plank:
1. Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart.
2. Slowly bend down and position yourself so that your forearms are resting on the ground.
3. Position your hands shoulder-width apart and keep your elbows in line with your wrists.
4. Step your feet back one at a time, so that your forearms are now holding the weight of your entire body.
5. Keeps your hips down and drop your lower back.
6. Stretch and lengthen through your body.
7. Hold this position for as long as you can.
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Never underestimate the power of balance. During the Vrikshasana, for instance, this single-leg pose encourages muscles around the ankle, knee, leg, hip, and even your groin to activate. This means that they are forced to strain as they help you to remain standing straight on only one leg at a time. Replicating the steady stance of a tree, as the weight of your entire body is balanced on one foot, the Tree Pose requires a lot of focus. This focus can encourage your muscles to flex as you balance for longer periods of time. To help prevent your muscles from tiring of the position, you can always wear a pair of compression shorts to reduce fatigue.
How To Do The Tree Pose:
1. Start in the standing position, feet hip-width apart.
2. Bend your knee and place your foot flat onto the opposite thigh.
3. Work on your balance as you keep your standing leg straight.
4. Inhale and slowly raise your hands over your end and place your palms together.
5. Lengthen through your legs and spine and remain as straight as you can while you continue to maintain your balance.
6. Lengthen and stretch through your body as you inhale, and relax as you exhale.
7. Repeat this action 5 times before swapping legs and repeating the actions.
Warrior 1 Pose (Virabhadrasana 1)
Fully attired in your yoga armor (aka yoga shorts and a tank top), it’s time to assume the Warrior 1 position. Now, while the name refers to battle, the pose is, in fact, a peaceful one. The only things that will be tested beyond measure and encouraged to toughen up, are your muscles. The Warrior 1 Pose is an asana commemorating great fighters and while you hold this stance, you’ll be placing much emphasis on your legs, arms, core, and back muscles. Your entire body will be forced to stretch and flex and while building muscles, this pose also helps to strengthen them.
How To Do The Warrior 1 Pose:
1. Start in the standing position and then slowly move your left leg to the back as you bend your right knee.
2. Turn your right foot outwards by 90 degrees and the left by 15 degrees.
3. Raise your arms straight up, reaching for the sky with your palms facing each other.
4. Raise your face to the sky, focusing on your palms.
5. Breathe deeply as you stretch through your body.
6. Hold this position for as long as you can before repeating with legs swapped.