I know you might be wondering – can yoga build muscle? Specifically, will Man Flow Yoga help to replace resistance training? Many people are interested in our fitness-centric form of yoga for men because it is a low-impact alternative to weights or traditional exercise, which are higher-impact and can be accompanied by discomfort, pain, or recurring injury.
I want to show you 5 postures that are extremely effective for building muscle and increasing your strength, and give you some tips on how to incorporate them into your workout routine. View these 5 poses – along with target areas, benefits, key technique points, and more – below!
Pose #1 – Deep Squat – Our first pose is the Deep Squat, and this one is possibly my favorite. It’s an essential exercise for your lower-body that also helps your core, your spine, and even your overall posture.
Target areas: Glutes, Hips, Core, Thighs, & Ankles
– Improve muscle activation in your glutes.
– Strengthens hips
– By keeping chest up during deep squat, you develop core awareness during squats, preventing injury or discomfort to your spine and back during exercise
Addresses root causes of knee pain and helps to prevent injury
Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
Pose #2 – The Yoga Push-Up
The yoga push-up is an extremely effective exercise for building strength in the shoulders and chest. In traditional yoga, this movement is done quickly, ineffectively, and often with improper technique. By doing this movement slowly, however, you can strength, increase muscle, and end your workout feeling significantly challenged in your upper-body.
This movement is actually a combination of 2 or 3 poses – the plank, the low plank, and then updog (alternatively, one may return to high plank). It’s different from a traditional push-up in that much more of the weight if forward in the shoulders, making it more difficult for the upper part of the torso, and also preparing the user to move from low-plank to updog.
Go super slow. At a minimum, perform at least 5 reps, or about 20 seconds total of push-ups. You can also hold the low plank position for 15-30 seconds to build isometric strength and work on technique.
Target Areas: Chest, shoulders, upper-back, arms, core
– Builds upper-body muscle mass, strength and endurance
– Strengthens wrists and forearms
– Strengthens core
Pose #3 – Warrior 2
Warrior 2 is a quintessential yoga posture that helps to build strength and mobility in your hips, core, and your ankles. It’s a great way to build mobility in your hips while also building strength and endurance in your lower-body.
This posture starts from a wide-legged stance. To get into Warrior 2, simply turn your front (right) foot to face sideways, keeping your hips and shoulders squared forward, and bend into the knee until your ankle is directly above the knee.
Hold for at least 30 seconds, and up to 90 seconds. Repeat 1-2x on both sides. Be mindful of technique for the duration of the exercise.
Target Areas: Hips, core, ankles
Pose #4 – Warrior 3
Warrior 3 is a very challenging but extremely rewarding balancing posture that strengthens your entire body. It addresses shoulder mobility & upper-back strength, core strength, hamstring mobility, hip strength, and ankles. It improves posture, prevents injury in your shoulders, lower-back and knees, and even helps to strengthen your glutes. There’s very little this doesn’t help with!
Hold this for 15-30 seconds. It’s really intense, so you don’t need to hold it that long. Repeat 1-2x on both sides. It helps to do some warm-up before jumping straight into this one – make sure your warm-up hits your hips, core, ankles, and upper-back/shoulders.
Target Areas: Core, hamstrings, hips, shoulders, back
– Strengthens lower body, core, and upper-body
– Improves hamstring and shoulder mobility
– Decreases risk of lower-body, back, and shoulder injury
Pose #5 – Cobra
The cobra pose is one of the best yoga postures in yoga. The main reason it is one of the best postures is because it focuses on backbending with proper technique. When doing cobra correctly, you are strengthening your spine, opening your chest and shoulders, building endurance and strength in your lower-body, and also strengthening your core. It addresses the root cause of back pain, improves your posture, and even increases your energy & elevates your mood.
Hold for 20-45 seconds. Repeat 1-2x.
Target Areas: Core, spine, hips, back
– Strengthen hips, core, and spine
– Addresses root cause of lower-back pain
– Improves posture
To learn more about MFY as an effective, low-impact form of exercise to build strength and muscle, head here: manflowyoga.com/blog/low-impact
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