Building strength and muscle tone with these 5 toning yoga posesThe New Year is upon us, and that means waves of y'all have formulated some great fitness goals for 2016. Good for you! While running or other forms of cardio are great for your heart health and weight lifting is great for muscle tone, strength and boosting your metabolism, yoga also has a place in your New Years Resolutions workout mix! I'm outlining some of the best toning yoga poses to help you meet your fitness goals.
Chatturanga. Check out this post on how to properly execute a chatturanga!
This post tones your arms (specifically, your triceps!), shoulders, core and chest. It also is done as part of a sequence of poses, and really gets the heart rate up to build heat. That's yoga speak for torch calories to all you fitness gurus.
Warrior 2/Warrior B
This pose is really an all over body toner! It works your quads, buttocks, inner thighs, back, core, biceps and triceps. Boom! The wider you get your stance and the more you bend into your front knee, the more strength building and toning benefits you'll reap out of the pose. Pay attention to using your quad and inner thigh muscles to push your bent knee out over your ankle. This will help protect your knee, and enable you to get more toning benefits from the pose.
|Warrior 2/Warrior B|
Warrior 1/Warrior A. Check out this post on how to properly align your Warrior 1/A!
You'd think that all the toning benefits would go to your front leg in this pose (aka, the one that is bent.) Not so! Your weight should be evenly distributed between both legs. This means that back leg's inner thigh is working like crazy to keep your leg straight and support your body! It's great for working the hip muscles too (yes, your hips have muscles - it's not all about flexibility in this part of your body! You need strength too.)
|Warrior 1/Warrior A|
This pose is the queen of inner thigh toning! The key is to use those muscles to push back your knees and sink low as you can go. You never want to release those inner thighs and let your knees collapse in over your ankles! This pose tones your quads, inner thighs, buttocks, and muscles in your feet - especially surrounding your toes. When was the last time you thought about those muscles?! Yet your feet support your whole body. If you want improved balance, work your Goddess often!
Noticing a warrior trend here? Yes, all three warrior poses are listed; they're appropriately named for how much strength they require to hold them! Warrior 3 is fantastic for toning the back and buttocks. This is a total back toner, as your lower back is supporting the weight of your leg while your upper back supports the weight of your outstretched arms. Also, remember the balance improvement benefits from Goddess pose? This pose will boost that for you too, since you're balancing on one leg and working all the muscles in your feet to stabilize yourself.
Linking up with Amanda, Karli, April and H54F!
If you're considering checking out a yoga studio to get some hands on assistance on how to do these poses (and I recommend that you at least try a studio for the experience, at least once), don't be intimidated: I've got you covered with tips for finding the right studio too.