Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Over time, yoga can help build strength and balance throughout your body.
Most yoga poses work on your legs - pretty much all standing poses in fact! So yoga is a great exercise to incorporate into your routine if strong, toned legs are your goal.
While it's easy to forget that your working your legs - they're stronger than a lot of the other areas of your body so they might not ache quite as much.
These 4 poses will show you just how easy it is to work those leg muscles as often as you want!
Putting aside 5-10 minutes a week to focus on your legs, or incorporating some of the moves below into your normal weekly practice, could make a massive difference.
You'll have those tone strong legs you've always wanted.
How Does Yoga Train Your Legs?
Yoga uses the resistance of your body weight to strengthen and tone your muscles and joint structures.
When you practice standing yoga poses your weight is spread across both feet. This challenges your feet and leg muscles to keep you stable and most importantly upright.
This creates tension and resistance which help to build muscular definition. While also helping to prevent injury and improve full-body coordination.
Below are 4 moves that you can do in 5-10 minutes that will help strengthen your legs.
1. Tree Pose
Balance postures are some of the best to do for developing leg strength. This focuses on one leg at a time so you will need to repeat the pose on alternating standing legs.
The constant need to maintain balance in the tree pose will engage every muscle fibre in the standing leg. You should feel the burn!
If you don’t, try standing on your tip toes even for 1 second.
How to do the tree pose
Start in a neutral standing position, feet shoulder width apart
Bend your left knee slightly so it can carry your weight.
Bring the sole of the right foot to the inside of your left thigh, or to the calf if that's not possible.
2. Chair Pose
The Chair Pose, or Utkatasana, is one of the best poses in this sequence.
The very thought of sitting on an imaginary chair enables a powerful mind-muscle connection.
It allows us to find that strength in our body, especially the hips and thighs whilst also giving your quads a good workout.
How to do the chair pose
Start by standing with your feet together and your big toes touching.
Inhale and raise your arms above your head, perpendicular to the floor.
Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your thighs as parallel to the floor as they can get.
Your knees will project out slightly over your feet, make sure to shift your weight into your heels.
3. Warrior I Pose
This pose is amazing for strengthening the quadriceps (front of the thighs). It will also give your hip a nice stretch for the back leg.
The Warrior I Pose will also challenge your stability due to the slight internal rotation of the back foot.
How to do the Warrior I Pose
Stand with your feet wide apart. Point your right foot to the top of the mat and turn your left foot slightly inward.
Draw your shoulder blades in toward your upper back ribs.
Keep your pelvis turned toward the front edge of your mat. Press your weight through your left heel.
Then exhale as you bend your right knee over your right ankle. Reach up through your arms.
Ground down through your left foot and keep your left thigh lifting.
Broaden across your belly and chest, and lift through your fingertips.
Gently tilt your head back and gaze up at your thumbs.
4. Half Moon Pose
Half Moon Pose is a standing yoga pose that will challenge your leg muscles and your ability to balance. Which is exactly what we are aiming for!
It will help strengthen your ankles, legs, glutes, spine, and abs. Whilst at the same time giving your spine, shoulders, calves, hamstrings, and groin a good stretch.
How to do the half-moon pose
Start in a standing position with your feet together.
Bend your torso to the right, bringing your right hand to the floor. Reach your left arm upward.
Bending your right knee, move your right arm and left leg to shift your weight forward.
Simultaneously lift the left leg as you straighten the right one.