Fitness

The 5 Yoga Poses You Need to Improve Your Strength Workouts

Because planks are everything for total body toning.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

There’s truly no better way to work on both your mental and physical health than by getting some more yoga into your life. Yoga will give you the best bang for your buck when it comes to fitness success and better overall health. Not only can a regular yoga routine help bust stress and promote flexibility, but using yoga for strength is a little known benefit to raising the bar on your strength training workouts. 

Read on to learn about the five yoga poses you need in your life to make the most of your strength training workouts. 

The 5 Yoga Poses You Need to Supercharge Your Strength Training Workouts

#1 Chair Pose

We’re not gonna lie, chair pose is darn hard. But with challenge comes fitness success, right? Chair pose is ideal for building some serious strength in your legs, and when you engage your core, you can work on those abdominals as you sit in your shaky chair pose for an entire minute. 

If you’re not familiar with this yoga for strength pose, simply stand up tall and slowly go down into a standing seated position with your arms perpendicular to the floor. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears and your thighs parallel to the floor. Now, hold it! You may start to get a little shaky, but with repetition, you’ll be able to hold this pose longer and longer. 

#2 Downward-Facing Dog

So maybe you have a love-hate relationship with one of the most popular yoga poses (we’re looking at you downward dog). But, it can actually be a great yoga for strength pose. When you get into downward dog, you are actively engaging those arms and legs, naturally building strength. Downward dog also allows you to get a good stretch in to allow those muscles to work harder during your strength workouts. Get into downward dog and hold for a minute or two, or as long as you feel comfortable before you hit the weights. 

#3 Plank Pose

We love us a good plank. It’s really the ultimate pose to tone and strengthen your entire body and can help work on all the muscles you need for a good strength training workout. Getting a gentle yoga flow in with some added planks before a strength training workout can be a great way to warm up those arms, legs, and abs that you’re about to use. Want a quick yoga class to follow along with? Build some strength with Jacquelyn Umof with her FitOn yoga strong class. 

Don’t have time for a full yoga flow? No worries. Drop into plank and hold for one minute as one of your warm-up moves before your strength workout. 

#4 Low-Side Plank

While you’re down in plank, work on those obliques a bit, while still building some strength in your arms and legs. See, we told you plank pose is the bomb for total body toning! Low-side plank can really target all muscle groups and prep your body for a more effective strength training workout. 

While down in plank, keep your core tight and pivot over to your right side and stack your left foot on top of your right. Keep your core engaged and reach your top hand to the ceiling, or keep in on your hip. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

#5 Tree Pose 

End with a little tree pose. Tree pose is amazing for balance and strengthening your legs. Start by standing tall (just like a tree) and shift your weight over to your left foot. With your core tight, bring your right knee up right in front of you, and place the inner sole of your foot on your inner thigh above your left knee. Bring your hands out in front of your chest, holding in what yogi’s call “prayer pose.” Hold this for one minute and then switch to the other leg. 

Create Your Own Yoga For Strength Sequence

There you have it. Five yoga poses that will help you build strength and take your strength workouts up a notch. Combine all five of these and repeat twice for a quick 15-minute pre strength training yoga flow. It will serve as the perfect warm-up, or even cool down to help support those tired muscles and let all the benefits of yoga go to work on strengthening your entire body.