7 Yoga Poses for Leg Strength

Do you want to sculpt shapely legs? You don’t have to do millions of squats or join a gym. Why not turn to one of humankind’s oldest known exercise forms?

Yoga offers multiple poses that empower your lower body. Here are seven positions for leg strength to add to your daily routine.

1. Legs up the Wall

If you work on your feet all day, you know how tired your dogs feel at closing time. The problem compounds if you must remain in one position all day, like many cashiers. Standing or sitting still for hours at a stretch increases your risk of varicose veins, a potentially painful condition.

Legs up the wall is one of the best poses for reducing varicose vein risk and strengthening your psoas, the muscles responsible for your hip hinge. To perform this movement, lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing down. Elevate your feet to 90 degrees. If you have a physical object on which to prop your feet, you may do so — but you lose some of the strengthening benefits.

2. Bridge

Are you looking to lift your fanny? If so, make bridge pose your best friend. This asana blasts your hamstrings, especially where they connect to your buttocks.

To perform the move, lie on your back. Bend your knees so you can touch your heels with your hands. Keep your shoulders and soles on the floor as you elevate your hips as high as you can, interlacing your hands beneath your buttocks.

If you want a more advanced variation, you can push yourself into a wheel pose or backbend. Begin the same way, but place your palms behind your shoulders, elbows bent. Lift yourself into a rainbow shape.

3. Warrior I and II

You can’t go wrong with warrior I and II for all over leg strengthening. These poses work nearly every muscle in your lower body.

To perform warrior, step forward with one leg and bend your knee to 90 degrees. The other leg extends behind you in a lunge position, with the toes of the back foot pointed out at a slight angle to lend stability to the pose. Warrior I elevates the arms straight above your head, while warrior II extends them in a T-shape.

If you don’t get to full parallel in this pose at first, gradually work your way lower. You never want to drop below 90 degrees, but you’ll still reap benefits with less of a bend.

4. Chair Pose

Chair pose is another fabulous yoga position for complete leg strength. It’s similar to performing a squat you hold for several seconds to minutes.

To perform chair, begin by standing tall in mountain pose. Bend your knees as if you were going to sit back in a chair. Extend your arms alongside your ears. While you want to avoid excess forward motion on your knees, it’s a myth that they should never extend past your toes. Overly restricting frontal movement puts undue strain on your hips and lower back.

5. Half-Moon

This pose works your balance while strengthening your outer thighs. Bend forward as if you were going to touch the ground about a foot and a half in front of you.

Then, rotate slightly to the side while lifting one leg and the same arm. Your arms will form a T-shape, with one remaining on the floor for balance and the other reaching to the sky. Your rear leg extends straight behind you, requiring you to use your abductors to maintain stability.

6. Dancer

Dancer is another pose that works your balance and core along with leg strength. It’s also one of the best positions for stretching your quadriceps.

Stand on one leg, lifting the other behind you and holding on to your ankle. Lean forward, creating up to a 90-degree angle with your body. Extend your opposite arm to help you balance.

7. Tree

Tree is the final balance pose, pulling double-duty to work your core and legs. Fortunately, you can start this asana the easy way if you’re a beginner. All you need to do is stand on one leg, but prop the other next to it with your knee pointing toward the outside and your toes touching the ground. You still work your adductors — your inner thighs — and stretch your hip joint.

If you’re more advanced, place the opposite foot inside the inner thigh of the standing leg. Hold your balance as long as you can.

Try These 7 Yoga Poses for Leg Strength

If you want to sculpt a shapely lower body, you don’t need a gym or fancy equipment. Try these seven yoga poses for leg strength and be prepared to note improved definition, balance and power.

*This is a collaborative post*

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