New Delhi: Well-toned, strong legs will not only make you more attractive but will also make you stronger. To strengthen and tone your legs, you may think weight training is the only option. But there are actually a number of yoga poses and stretches that target your all parts of your lower body. Here are some yoga poses to build strong and toned legs.
This classic pose will strengthen your quads. It’s like sitting down in a chair, but holding yourself up just before you actually sit. While standing, start with your feet together or shoulder-width apart. With a straight spine, reach your arms over head, bend your knees, and push your hips back. Your gaze can be forward or slightly up, but to prevent hurting your neck avoid tipping your head back. This is an amazing pose to feel grounded, build heat, and gain strength. Perfect leading up to ski season or a spring full of hiking! I recommend starting holding the pose for a few seconds, then building to be able to hold for 60-90 seconds.
Leaning Crescent Pose
From downward dog, bring your right foot in between your hands in a runner’s lunge. Plant your entire right foot into the mat while keeping the left heel off the ground, then lift the upper body upright and reach the arms to the sky. Do your best to keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle and just above the ankle. This is a great standing pose that helps lengthen the hip flexor of the back leg while strengthening the quadriceps of the front leg. If you lean forward slightly, the pose works the quadriceps muscle even more, as well as adds some core work. It’s a great pose for runners, cyclists, or anyone doing an intense leg routine. Similar to Chair pose, I recommend building to a 60-90 second hold on each leg.
Standing Frog Pose
This pose is both a strengthener and will provide a good stretch. Place your feet so they’re about six to eight inches wider than shoulder-width. Turn your feet out about about 45 degrees and bend your knees until they’re at a 90 degree angle, just right above your ankles, and not further. Once your legs are in the correct position, contract your abdominal muscles and tuck your tailbone down slightly. This will keep your core activated and begin that deep groin and hip stretch. Hang in there as long as you can. In my advanced yoga classes, I instruct my students to hold this pose for 60 seconds.
Inspired from the traditional way we Indians sit on the toilet, this pose strengthens your thighs and legs. Doing this asana can also help to prevent knee joint pain. To begin with, hold this position as much your body allows you to.
Extended triangle pose
It stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles, particularly targeting the adductors of front and back of the legs. Apart from this, it also stretches your hamstrings, hips, calves, shoulders, and spines. Doing this pose can also help you release some of the stress you’re holding on to.