Yoga can be a great way to help strengthen and tone your legs. From the warrior sequences to the balance poses, there are so many exercises that can help you increase your core stability, flexibility, and range of motion. Here are eight easy yoga moves that can help you achieve your goals.
Standing Half Forward Fold
The standing half forward fold is a standing torso stretch that helps to improve flexibility in the hamstrings and back. To do the pose, stand tall with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Next, exhale as you hinge forward at your hips and reach your chest and arms toward your feet. Relax your head and neck, keeping your back flat. Hold the pose for five to 10 breaths before slowly standing up to release.
Downward Facing Dog
A classic yoga pose, downward facing dog is a great way to help build leg strength and tone the hamstring muscle. Start from a hands and knees position, and then tuck your toes and lift your hips toward the sky. Work to place your heels as close to the ground as possible as your legs and arms remain straight. To exit the pose, bend your knees and slowly lower your body to the mat.
The three-legged dog looks similar to its two-legged counterpart in that you’ll start from a hands and knees position, however, you’ll raise one of your legs to the sky. This pose helps build strength in the hips and core, and helps to improve balance. Be sure to keep the leg that is off the mat straight, and engage the triceps to support your arms. Release your leg and come back to your four-legged dog before coming up to a standing position.
The warrior I pose is great for building strength in the legs and hips. To do the pose, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, then turn your right foot out and bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle. Keep your left leg straight, and your left foot parallel to the back of your mat. To exit the pose, straighten your right leg and then come back to standing before repeating on the other side.
A more advanced version of the classic lunge, the crescent lunge helps to target the glutes, core, and muscles in the legs. Start in a standing position, feet together. With your right foot, step forward, and then lower your back knee to the ground. Raise your arms above your head, palms facing each other. Be sure to keep your front leg bent and your back heel up as you hold the pose for five breaths. Release and repeat on the other side.