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Can you build strength with yoga?

Want a tighter core, solid arms, and sculpted legs? Not only can yoga make you more flexible and reduce stress, it can also make your body strong.

As the new students walk into the class, I often ask, what is your purpose to join the Yoga class. The common answer I get is to gain flexibility and mobility. This is a common myth that yoga only gives you flexibility. Yoga classes can be a good combination of flexibility, mobility, and strength.

Surprised, that you can skip the gym and still gain strength through Yoga.

Just like workout programs, not all styles of yoga are efficient at building strength. If your goal is to build strength or build muscle, then it's important to select the right style of yoga to help you achieve your goals.

Active and dynamic styles of yoga such as Ashtanga or any form of power yoga are excellent for strength training. These styles of yoga are similar to performing high-rep bodyweight exercises.

Yoga poses build strength isometrically, by statically holding a position or using one's own body weight against an unmovable force, like the floor or wall. As a result, you build longer, leaner muscle tone.

Best yoga poses to build strength

Most yoga poses if held for long enough, or performed for multiple repetitions will help to build strength. Some of our favorite yoga poses for building strength include:

  1. Downward-facing dog: strengthens the shoulders, arms, and hamstrings. This pose also stretches out the calves, arches of feet and hips.

  2. Warrior I: strengthens thighs, knees and ankles. Warrior I also stretches the hamstrings, calves hips and arches of feet.

  3. Plank pose: strengthens arms, shoulders and core muscles. This pose will also stretch the chest, thighs and calves

  4. Side plank : strengthens arms, shoulders and core muscles. This pose will also stretch the chest, thighs and calves

  5. Boat pose: strengthens the abdominals, back and shoulders. The boat pose also stretches out the thighs hips and chest area.

  6. Crow Pose: strengthens the arms, wrists and spine while stretching out your ankles, calves, hamstrings

  7. Tree pose: strengthens thighs, calves and ankles while also stretching the groin, chest hips, and shoulders

Is yoga cardio or strength training?

Yoga is a unique blend of both cardiovascular and strength training. Yoga is a full-body workout that helps improve cardiovascular function and gain strength and flexibility.

Every style of yoga is different but most styles of yoga blend cardio and strength training in some way.

Yoga has been found to be a great way of building muscle strength. Not only does yoga work the muscles that are being targeted, but it also strengthens and stretches other muscle groups in your body that you may not have even known existed! If you're interested in getting started with this practice, book our trial class for everything you need to know to get started on your journey.


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