Legs are so much more than just walking sticks gifted to us for transportation purposes
We surely cannot undermine the importance of a strong lower body. It’s the sheer system that supports the entire upper body including its internals. Tired feet and legs after only a few minutes of walking, a shaky lower body while running or lifting weights, experiencing discomfort in the knees, etc., are some of the warning signs that express how much our legs need attention. Did you know there are yoga poses for strength and stronger legs you can try at home?
Having strong legs can make our lives a hell lot easier. Of course, the added perk is that the health of our legs is directly proportional to some of the nastiest joint disorders such as arthritis, ankle and knee tissue abrasion, and loss of bone density.
Obviously, it’s essential to have strong, sturdy legs with well-conditioned joints to lead an active lifestyle. While lifting weights or enjoying an aerobic workout can help build leaner, stronger legs, the science of yoga proposes certain yoga postures that work on holistic dynamics and reward the practitioner with a sturdier, well-toned lower body.
And what’s more interesting is that you can practice yoga asanas anytime and anywhere without equipment or a specially engineered floor or any additional accessories. Explore these five standing yoga poses for strength that will help you work your way to a stronger lower body:
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
This is an outstanding asana for firing up the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. It challenges you mentally and physically as you struggle to remain composed and balanced while strengthening the legs. Even holding this pose for 5 breaths will provide feisty sensations in the legs while holding it. This posture demonstrates the strength and abilities of a true warrior.
How to perform: Stand with a foot of distance between each ankle. Lift the right leg and step it back towards the edge of the mat. Rotate the right ankle inwards. Bend the left knee to form a right angle with the calf. Raise both arms overhead while lifting the chest to achieve a bend in the mid-back. Look towards the sky. If you are having difficulty with balance, create more space between the thighs. Hold for 10 breaths.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Similar to the Virabhadrasana I, Warrior II impacts the hip flexors to an even greater degree. While the pose teaches balance and engages the mind towards assimilating the entire body, Warrior II also requires the back leg to work just as much as the quadriceps in the front leg. Executing Warrior II every day will help strengthen your body in no time.
How to perform: Stand on the mat with your feet together, step the left leg back towards the edge of the mat. Rotate the left ankle inward by about 45 degrees. Bend the right leg at the knee creating a right angle. Raise both arms parallel to the floor. Hold the pose for 10-20 breaths while maintaining balance and inviting strength.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
This asana asks for strong internal and external balance. While the posture works on the glutes and thighs, it also works on the curves of the ankles and strengthens them. This posture is especially beneficial for those wanting to strengthen their feet. Tree pose is also a favorite among those aiming to build strong, lean calf muscles.
How to perform: Stand with several inches between your feet. Lengthen the torso and the neck while lifting both the arm overhead. Lift the left leg and rest the left ankle on the inner right thigh. Maintain equilibrium while focusing on your breath. Hold the position for up to 10 breaths and switch sides.
Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)
This posture works on the thighs while improving flexibility in the legs. Apart from working the quadriceps and hip flexors, this pose is highly useful in strengthening and toning the hamstrings, calves, and ankles. Exercising balance is another big benefit of performing this pose.
How to perform: Stand firm with your feet aligned. Bend the right arm at the elbow and place your right palm on the waistline for support. Press the right foot firmly into the ground for balance. Slowly lift the left leg in front of you. Reach and loop the toe of the left leg with the forefinger of the left hand and sweep your leg out to the left. Hold the pose for 10 breaths. This can also be practiced with the help of a yoga strap.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
The epic chair pose or Utkatasana provides benefits identical to performing parallel squats. The pose strengthens the quadriceps, knees, calves, and hips in one strong motion.
How to perform: Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Raise both your arms until they are more perpendicular to the ground. Next, gently lower your hips in the direction of the ground while maintaining balance. Make sure the knees are aligned with the ankles while lowering the hips. Remain in the pose for 10 deep breaths before releasing back to standing.
Feed your legs with these power-packed yoga asanas for a stronger lower body and a sturdier balance.