A Yoga Flow To Help Build Lower-Body Strength

A Yoga Flow To Help Build Lower-Body Strength

Your lower body is a force of nature, a powerhouse if you will. It is the foundation that supports your top half and houses some of the largest muscles in the entire body. The glutes and quadriceps work to keep you standing tall, but also propel forward motion. When your foundation is solid and flexible, you can move more dynamically. You can jump, kick, dance, and move a bit more worry-free without a serious risk of injury.

Now, if you are young and able-bodied, the idea of falling or pulling your back when you tie your shoe doesn’t cross your mind. As you get older, a weaker lower body can lead to instability, which increases the risk of falls. Believe it or not, falls account for a large number of hospitalizations among the elderly every year. Don’t wait until you are older to condition your lower-body muscle groups. Start stretching, improving balance, and increasing strength to challenge these muscle groups to build a solid foundation. That way, you can live a lifetime of enjoyable, pain-free movement. 

The following yoga flow requires you to move through a series of postures that target four main lower-body muscle groups: the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calves. Throughout the flow, notice how the poses activate each of these groups. Ideally, you will move through this flow all the way through. You may even make it a regular part of your workout.

Bird Dog Pose

Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, stacking your shoulders over your wrists and hips over your knees. Try to elongate your spine in this position and draw your navel into your spine to tighten your core. Take a big inhale and reach your right arm forward, simultaneously stretching your left leg back. Keep your weight centered and avoid leaning to one side. Once you feel balanced, lift your left leg up to hip height and hold this position for three deep breaths. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side and then rest. 

Chair Pose

Stand straight up with your feet hip-distance apart and let your arms hang by your sides. Take a big inhale and then bend your knees to enter a half squat on your exhale. You should feel a challenge in your legs and torso, but maintain a straight back. Extend your arms overhead or keep them in prayer position at your chest. Aim to keep the weight in your heels and press down into the mat to engage your glutes. Remain here for three deep breaths and then return to the starting position. Repeat two more times. 

Crescent High Lunge Pose

Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Lower yourself into chair pose and place your hands on your hips. Lean forward slightly into your right foot and step your left foot behind you to enter a high lunge. You should feel a decent stretch along the front of your left hip. Press the ball of your left foot firmly into the mat and keep your right glutes and thigh engaged. Hold for a few breaths before returning to the starting position. Repeat on the other side and complete a total of three times on each side. 

Warrior III

This is a major test in balance and may take a few times to get comfortable in the position. Begin in the crescent high lunge pose with your right foot in front and left foot behind you. Place your hands on your hips and inhale to elongate your spine. On your exhale, bend your left knee and lean forward into your right leg, lifting your left foot off the ground. Press down firmly into your right heel and square your hips to the ground. You can keep your hands on your hips or extend your arms out to the sides for better balance. For a challenge, extend your arms out in front of you. Hold this position for three breaths and then return to the starting position before repeating on the other side. 

Goddess Pose

Begin by standing in a wide-legged position facing the long edge of your yoga mat. Point your toes out as much as you can and then bend your knees, lowering your pelvis and bringing your shins to a vertical position. In order to activate your outer hip muscles, press your knees out to the sides. That also helps to stretch your inner thighs, but make sure to squeeze your glutes to maintain balance. You can place your hands in prayer position at your chest, or rest them on your thighs. Hold this position for three to five deep breaths and then return to the starting position.

Tree Pose

Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart. Place your hands on your hips or use a wall/chair for balance. Lean your weight to your right and bring the sole of your left foot to your inner right ankle. You can remain in this position, or you can take it to the next level if you feel balanced. Draw your left foot up to rest it just below or above your right knee. The higher you bring your foot, the more difficult it will be to balance. Squeeze your right inner thigh and sole of your left foot to stabilize your body. Once you are balanced, take a deep inhale and bring your hands to prayer position at your chest. Hold for three deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Refer A Friend give 15%
get $20