Yoga Poses for Toning

Use the Warrior pose to tighten up your leg muscles.

Use the Warrior pose to tighten up your leg muscles.

A flabby belly, dimply thighs and wobbly arms are a girl's worst enemies. Aside from appearing unsightly, these can be indicators that you’re out of shape. Yoga not only improves flexibility, but most poses also strengthen the muscles of the body, including the core, arms and legs. Toning the muscles through yoga can significantly improve the appearance of those problem areas.

Warrior 1

The Warrior 1 pose will work your quads, hamstrings and glutes. It also challenges your core muscles as you contract them to stabilize your position. To perform Warrior 1, stand with one leg in front of you and the other extended back behind you like you’re lunging. Turn your back foot out and bend the front knee, lowering yourself toward the floor. Extend both arms above your head, stretching back slightly as you hold the pose. Breathe deeply through your nose for about 30 seconds while holding the pose. Tighten your leg and abdominal muscles for better balance. Switch legs and perform the pose on the opposite side.

Boat

The Boat pose is sure to get your core muscles fired up. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees and draw them in toward your chest. When you feel stable, slowly straighten the legs and straighten your arms parallel to the floor to form a V-shape with your body. Tighten those core muscles to keep your legs up. Hold the pose for three to five breaths, or about 30 seconds.

Inclined Plane

Performing the Inclined Plane pose will give you lean, tight arms. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you. Place your hands on the floor just behind your buttocks with your fingers pointing toward your feet. Lift your buttocks and torso off the ground to form a straight diagonal line with your body. Let your head hang back, relaxing your neck. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your arms as straight as you can. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing deeply as you do.

Plank

The Plank pose is a total body workout, utilizing the core, arms and legs to keep the body elevated. Lie face down on the floor while propping yourself up on your hands or forearms. Lift yourself onto your toes as if to do a pushup. Keep your back level and pull your belly button in toward your spine to activate the core. Hold the pose for three to five breaths. Don’t let your buttocks sink or your back arch during the exercise. For an extra challenge, alternate lifting your legs, with feet flexed and legs straight, while holding the pose.

 

About the Author

Jenna Foote began her career as an online writer for CBS 5 News in Phoenix. Her work has been published on various websites, covering consumer and recreational topics. Foote holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Brigham Young University.

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