Yoga Poses to Help Increase Strength

Updated on December 27th, 2019
yoga for strength

Yoga has become a popular workout form due to its various health benefits. Yoga can be used to increase strength and also works as a cure for low energy, stress, and anxiety. For beginners, yoga will also help improve your stamina and flexibility. The practice of yoga has become common, with over 50% of the population in the United States practicing yoga, according to a study.

How Can Yoga Help Increase Strength?

Yoga is an all-purpose body training that is used to build strength and flexibility. There are numerous benefits of yoga for your physical as well as mental well-being.

  • Yoga enables hip hinge movement, which is flexing and extending of your hip joint when working out.
  • Your flexibility is vastly improved by practicing yoga daily. This is because yoga focuses on relaxing and stretching the muscle tissue.
  • Even though yoga looks like passive exercise, each yoga pose targets a specific group of muscles to tone and strengthen them.
  • Yoga is also good for improving your balance and posture. All yoga poses are practiced with proper alignment, which strengthens muscles and allows for synchronized body movements.
  • Practicing yoga regularly can also slow down muscle loss that occurs after the age of 40. This is because yoga helps build muscle and bone density.
  • Almost all yoga poses can tone your muscles and help you slim down.

Did you know?

Most yoga styles can exercise every muscle in your body, making it beneficial for maintaining overall health.

Best Yoga Asanas to Improve Strength

Yoga was initially used as a healing technique, but the practice has developed over the years and is used for a lot of health problems. Here are some yoga asanas that can help to improve your strength.

1. Plank Pose

Front Plank on Table
Image: ShutterStock

Why Does It Work?

The plank pose, commonly known as palakhasana, helps strengthen your shoulder and lower back.

How to Use?

Sit down on your knees and bend forward until your palms are flat against the floor and your torso is on the air. Now raise your legs so that only your toes are touching the floor. Keep your arms and legs straight and hold for 10-15 seconds.

How Much to Use?

Do the plank pose daily to improve strength for 5 minutes in 15-second stretches.

[Read: Yoga for Shoulder Pain]

2. Boat Pose

Boat Pose

Why Does It Work?

Also known as Navasana, the boat pose can help to increase your core strength. The pose strengthens your abdomen and spine and tightens your abdominal muscles. It also tones your tummy and strengthens back muscles.

How to Use?

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Now lift your legs at 45 degrees angle off the ground. Extend your hands in front of you and raise them so that they are parallel to the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.

How Much to Use?

Try to practice the boat pose for 10 minutes in 10-second stretches daily.

[Read: Power Yoga for Weight Loss]

3. Staff Pose

staff pose

Why Does It Work?

The staff pose or dandasana is beneficial for your back muscles. It not only strengthens your back(1) and shoulder muscles but also reduces back pain. Staff pose also helps improve your posture.

How to Use?

Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Keep your back straight. Keep your hands flat against your side with palms flat on the floor. Stretch your back as much as possible and hold for 10-15 seconds.

How Much to Use?

Practice the staff pose for 10-15 seconds at a time for 10 minutes daily.

4. Half Moon Pose

Half Moon Pose

Why Does It Work?

This pose requires you to stand on one leg, which is beneficial for your leg and core muscles.

How to Use?

Stand straight then spread your legs, so your hips and feet are the same distance apart. Now place your left hand on your hip and bend down, so your right hand touches the floor. Go down as much as you can. Simultaneously, raise your leg so that it is at the same angle as your hip. You can raise your left hand straight up, too. Hold this pose for 5-6 seconds.

How Much to Use?

Try to practice the half-moon pose daily for 5 minutes in 5-second durations.

[Read: Yoga Poses for Neck Pain]

5. Cobra Pose

cobra pose yoga

Why Does It Work?

Cobra pose (bhujangasana) allows you to stretch the unused muscles in your back. It also helps strengthen your core muscles(2) and tone your arms.

How to Use?

Lie down on the floor on your stomach. Now place your palms on the floor and raise your torso. Keep your elbows bent so that the pressure on your back increases. Ensure your legs are straight. Maintain the pose for 10 seconds.

How Much to Use?

Practice the cobra yoga pose for strength for 10 minutes for 10 seconds at a time.

[Read: Yoga Poses for Stress]

6. Locust Pose

Locust Pose

Why Does It Work?

The locust pose, or Salabhasana, curves your back and strengthen your arms and vertebral column. It also stimulates the muscles in your hips and shoulders. The locust pose strengthens your whole body and relieves tension and fatigue.

How to Use?

Lie down flat on your stomach then raise your legs and torso above the ground as much as you can. Keep your arms straight at your sides. Hold for 5-6 seconds.

How Much to Use?

Practice the locust pose every day for 5 minutes for a 5-second duration.

Yoga was introduced in India over 5000 years ago, but it is now practiced all over the world for maintaining health and fitness.

While yoga is a great way to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility, it might not be enough for your strength training goals. The effectiveness of yoga for strength depends largely on your lifestyle, weight, and strength goals. The practice of yoga introduces greater movement and flexibility and makes you healthy.

There are more than 100 asanas in yoga, each with its own health benefits.


1. How Yoga Works for Increasing Strength?

Yoga stretches your muscles and stimulates your organs, which helps build your strength. Many yoga poses also help to increase flexibility and balance, along with strengthening your muscles.

2. Can Yoga Replace Strength Training?

While using yoga for strength is an effective way to build strength, whether it can replace strength training depends on your strength goals. If you have high goals, yoga coupled with weight lifting can help you accomplish your strength goals.

3.  Are There Any Risks Associated with Yoga Poses?

Many yoga poses, if not done right, can cause tissue damage, so it is best to learn yoga asanas and practices from a certified trainer before practicing yoga by yourself. Doing so will also give you a better understanding of the do(s) and don’t(s) of yoga to avoid injuring yourself.

4. Can Yoga Help to Relieve Muscle Pain?

Yoga can tone and strengthen your muscles. Practicing yoga regularly can also help to reduce back and muscle pain, according to research by NCCIH(3). It has also been used to treat chronic lower back pain effectively.

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