Yoga is obviously great for building core strength, but it is also great tool for building strength in the legs.
Many standing yoga poses place a great deal of weight on the leg muscles and require you to hold each pose for an extended period of time. This works the stabilizing muscles and helps build both strength and endurance in the targeted muscles.
Yoga poses that build leg strength are a great compliment to your regular strength training and can also help reduce the risk of injury, increase flexibility, and improve workout recovery.
How to Incorporate Yoga Poses that Build Leg Strength
- Do these poses on your recovery day once or twice per week.
- Use these poses during your upper body workout days as an active form of rest between exercises.
- Use these poses as a finisher on leg days.
Tip: Doing yoga poses and other stretches is a great way to make your rest periods during workouts more productive.
4 Yoga Poses for Leg Strength
The following Yoga poses are great for building leg strength and stability. Try holding each pose as long as you can, working up over time. As previously mentioned, these can be worked into your workouts or used as an active recovery tool.
Yoga Pose for Leg Strength #1: Standing Frog Pose
Standing Frog Pose is basically an isometric sumo-squat and is a great yoga pose for building strength in the legs, glutes, and core.
When performing this pose, start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width a part, with your toes point out about 45 degrees. Then squat down to parallel and hold that position.
Note: It is always important to pull the belly button in and to squeeze your core.
Yoga Pose for Leg Strength #2: Crescent Pose
Crescent Pose is great for building strength in the forward leg. If you are new to yoga, you can think of it like an isometric lunge with your hind leg extended straight out.
In addition to being a great yoga pose for building leg strength, Crescent Pose also opens the hip flexors and stretches the abs and chest.
Yoga Pose for Leg Strength #3: Chair Pose
We like to refer to the Chair Pose as the "Ski-Jumper Pose", as the pose looks very similar to the position ski jumpers are in while descending the ski ramp.
In this pose your feet and knees are kept very narrow or touching. You then hinge back into an isometric squat position and hold. From this position you can extend your arms overhead to stretch the chest or twist for your spine or more.
Yoga Pose for Leg Strength #4: Warrior
Warrior Pose is similar to Crescent Pose, except the back foot is turned outward during Warrior Pose.
Warrior Pose, like Crescent Pose, is a great yoga pose for building leg strength in the front leg. However, in Warrior Pose the stretch is focused on the groin of the back leg and not the hip-flexor, which is the focus of Crescent.
Conclusion: These are four of the best yoga poses for building leg strength, endurance, and balance. Again, yoga isn't something that has to take away from your normal workouts and should be used to compliment your normal strength training.
Do these poses on your recovery days or as a leg workout finisher and you'll be amazed with how strong and stable you feel.