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These 14 Yoga Poses Can Help You Gain Lean And Firm Thighs

These 14 Yoga Poses Can Help You Gain Lean And Firm Thighs

Wide-Squat

    1. Wide Squat

    • Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees and lower your hips toward the ground.
    • Bring your palms together at your heart centre, and firmly press your elbows against the inside of your knees, helping to open the hips even further.
    • Shift weight into the heels, lengthening the crown of the head up toward the ceiling, holding for five deep breaths.

    Extended-Wide-Squat

      2. Extended Wide Squat

      • Release your hands to the floor, walk them away from you as you press your belly toward the floor.
      • Relax your head, staying here for five breaths.

      Half-Bound-Wide-Squat

        3. Half Bound Wide Squat

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        • Walk your hands back to the feet, and lower your right shoulder in front of your right knee. Wrap your armpit around the knee as you reach your right forearm around your lower back with your palm facing away.
        • Reach your left arm toward the ceiling, bend your elbow, and bring the back of your left hand to your lower back.
        • Touch your fingers together if you can, hold your left wrist with your right hand, with the left palm facing behind you.
        • Hold for five deep breaths, looking over the left shoulder.

        Balancing-Bound-Wide-Squat

          4. Balancing Bound Wide Squat

          • Bring your gaze forward, and rock your weight from side to side to gain enough momentum to rise up while holding your knee in the bound position. Rock right, left, right, and as you rock left, push into the left foot to straighten the leg and rise to stand. If you lose hold of your right leg, wrap your right arm around it again once you feel stable. If this is too difficult, just clasp both hands around your right knee.
          • Look over the left shoulder for five breaths.

          Flamingo

            5. Flamingo

            • With your arms holding the bind around your right knee, slowly hinge at the hips, folding forward as far as you can. If this is too difficult, release your hands to the floor, keeping the knee bent.
            • Hold still, breathing for five breaths.

            Extended-Hand-Big-Toe

              6. Extended Hand to Big Toe

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              • Pressing into the left foot, rise up with your bent right knee, and release your arms. Hold the right big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of your right hand, and bring the left hand to your left hip.
              • With the left leg straight and the torso stacked over the pelvis, straighten the right leg out in front of you as much as you can.
              • Enjoy this stretch for five breaths.

              Dancer

                7. Dancer

                • Bend the right knee, swing it behind and kick it away as you lean the torso forward, holding onto the arch of your right foot.
                • Draw the belly toward the spine, staying here for five deep breaths.

                Eagle

                  8. Eagle

                  • Release hold of your foot, lift the torso as you swing your right knee forward. Wrap it around your left thigh, and tuck the right toes around your lower left leg.
                  • Cross the left elbow over the right then bring your palms together.
                  • Hold like this for five breaths, lifting the elbows as high as you can, look at the hands.

                  Crouching-Eagle

                    9. Crouching Eagle

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                    • Keeping the legs and arms crossed, bend the knees to squat down and lower the torso, resting your right elbow on your right knee.
                    • Hold for five breaths.

                    Eagle-Warrior-3

                      10. Eagle Warrior 3

                      • Keeping the elbows crossed, uncross the knees, and kick your right leg behind you, bringing the torso parallel with the floor.
                      • Actively extend the arms away from you, and engage the abs for five breaths.

                      Bent-Standing-Split

                        11. Bent Standing Split

                        • Bend the right knee and fold forward. Lower the right hand to the floor and hold the right toes with your left hand.
                        • Pull the knee as high as you can to intensify the quad stretch, holding for five breaths.

                        Lunge

                          12. Lunge

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                          • Kick the right foot behind you, bending the left knee, and releasing the hands to the floor.
                          • Hold this lunge position for five breaths.

                          Burning-Lunge

                            13. Burning Lunge

                            • Lower your torso, and reach your left arm underneath your bent left knee. Interlace both hands in front of your left ankle. Keep all the weight in your legs, resist the urge to lean into your hands. If this is too hard for your thigh muscle to hold (it’s an intense move!), then rest one or both hands on the floor.
                            • Breathe deeply in this low lunge for five breaths.

                            Kneeling-Quad-Stretch

                              14. Kneeling Quad Stretch

                              • Lower the back knee to the floor.
                              • Pull the foot in toward your right hip, holding the top of the foot with your right hand.
                              • Rest your left forearm on your left thigh, staying here for five breaths.
                              • Release the back leg, and step your right foot forward to meet the left, coming into a Wide Squat. Now repeat this sequence on the left side.

                              yoga1
                                Reference: popsugar.com

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                                Felix H.

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                                Last Updated on November 11, 2018

                                How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

                                How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

                                There’s a common misconception that building muscle occurs entirely in the gym from exercise and lifting weights. In this article, we are going to debunk this notion that weight lifting and gym exercise yields 100%, or even 90% for that matter, of muscle building results.

                                So how to gain muscle fast in a healthy way?

                                Yes working-out is a critical aspect of developing muscle, however it should not be the focal point. Building muscle occurs primarily outside of the gym by way of diet/eating habits, and sleep regimen.

                                How Is Muscle Developed?

                                Muscle is developed from damaging the tissue during exercise, and facilitating the most optimal circumstances for repair and growth of those same tissues. This means you will not only need to exercise, but you should focus on carbohydrates around your exercises, and adequate rest and recovery between workouts.

                                If your focus is building muscle and not losing weight, focusing on a high-carb diet with carb loading around the workout days will yield great results. Yes, you absolutely can lose fat and build muscle following a low-carb diet, but you’ll make faster progress if you follow a high-carb diet instead. Now don’t take that as a green-light to stuff your face with pasta, bread, and all sorts of other carb-heavy foods.

                                Let’s examine Glycogen – a multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that serves as a form of energy storage in humans. Muscle glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that’s stored in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is the primary source of fuel during exercise, and low glycogen levels decreases your ability to gain strength and muscle. The best way to maintain high levels of muscle glycogen is to eat a high-carb diet, with around 1 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.

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                                The time of ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement on muscle glycogen storage post exercise was examined in a study with twelve male cyclists that exercised continuously for 70 min on a cycle ergometer at 68% VO2max, interrupted by six 2-min intervals at 88% VO2max, on two separate occasions. The results suggest that delaying the ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement post-exercise will result in a reduced rate of muscle glycogen storage.

                                How to Gain Muscle Fast?

                                If you want to gain muscle as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible, then you want high muscle glycogen levels. Here’s a few effective approaches to building muscle:

                                Muscle Growth and Glycogen Levels

                                The primary driver of gaining muscle and its growth is progressive tension overload, which involves exposing your muscles to increasingly greater levels of tension over time. The most effective way to achieve this is to get as strong as possible on heavy compound lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift, over head press, bent over barbell rows..etc).

                                When you keep glycogen levels high, you’re going to gain strength faster, which means gaining muscle faster, too. Having higher levels of muscle glycogen will more than likely help you build muscle faster.

                                Maintaining high muscle glycogen levels also improves post-workout genetic signaling relating to muscle growth and repair.

                                Muscle Recovery and Glycogen Levels

                                Not only do higher muscle glycogen levels yield quicker strength gains, it will also improve recovery between workouts.

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                                On the contrary, low muscle glycogen levels are associated with overtraining, and even increasingly popular low-carb diets, which deplete muscle glycogen. Low glycogen levels also increase cortisol and reduce testosterone levels in athletes, which is a key component needed for building muscle.

                                Those on a low-carb diets also have reduced insulin levels. Insulin, in addition to helping store nutrients, also has powerful anti-catabolic properties. Basically insulin decreases the rate at which muscle proteins are broken down, which in turn creates a more anabolic environment conducive to muscle growth and development.

                                Intermittent Fasting (“IF”) and Testosterone

                                Fasting is not just a beneficial way to manage your weight, caloric intake, and start shredding as I have indicated in previous articles. Some research shows that fasting can be a source of strength enhancement and increases in testosterone stimulation.

                                As humans age metabolism slows and testosterone production decreases, this simply means that the body will no longer be able to work as efficiently as it did in earlier years. This is one of the primary reasons why you should take more care to your diet.

                                Research has shown that intermittent fasting can enhance the ability to secrete growth hormone in the body.[1] This is one of the primary reasons why IF is one of the preferred dietary habits of bodybuilders and strength athletes such as myself, whom will utilize an approach that emphasizes fasting phases (2 of 7 days of the week for example).

                                Research has also shown that IF can increase the bodies ability to signal luteinizing hormone.[2] In non-obese men, an intermittent fasting testosterone study showed that IF increased LH (luteinizing hormone – a testosterone precursor hormone) up to 67% and overall testosterone 180%.

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                                Luteinizing hormone is one that works in both men and women to enhance our ability to be sexually active and productive. In women, luteinizing hormone can trigger ovulation, and in men, works to stimulate testosterone.

                                Intermittent fasting also increases levels of a hormone called adiponectin. This increase in adiponectin during the fast helps improve insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin is so effective, in fact, that it’s been shown to reverse insulin resistance in mice.

                                Gaining Muscle and Macro Nutrients – Protein!

                                Something that absolutely cannot go overlooked is the protein consumption. Personally, I believe protein should be primarily consumed in food, however if looking to gain muscle, it can often be quite difficult to hit daily macro nutrient requirements.

                                If one is to build muscle consistently a general rule of thumb is to aim for 1-1.5grams of protein per pound of body weight on a daily basis. So as a 200lb man I would be needing to consume 200grams – 250grams of protein per day. I would aim for the higher consumption on days when very active and training.

                                As I’m sure you’re aware, it can often be quite difficult to consume that much protein, especially in food! It’s in these cases where supplementing protein isn’t a bad idea and I have discussed in great detail the different types of protein in previous articles.

                                Generally speaking, I lean towards Whey Protein Isolate, or non-dairy options such as Hemp Protein, or Pea Protein. As of late I have been waking up every morning and consuming one scoop of Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Bovines from grass-fed beef. Collagen peptides are highly bioavailable and act as building blocks; renewing bodily tissues such as skin, bones and joints.[3]

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                                Collagen peptides may act as a messenger to the cells and trigger the synthesis and reorganization of new collagen fibers, thereby supporting tissue structure. Consuming protein such as Collagen in the morning is beneficial as the stomachs acids are needed to optimally break-down and absorb protein.

                                Though this has been a topic of great debate, I also firmly believe adequate carbohydrates are required to build muscle, especially if you are exercising/training often. With all the low-carb movements floating around the internet, there’s lots of misinformation. Muscle-building requires energy which is typically through an increased intake of carbohydrates.

                                Yes to gain mass, you have to ensure you’re consuming enough protein to rebuild muscle tissue damaged from training; but also consider carbohydrates because gaining size requires filling your muscles with glycogen as we discussed earlier in this article.

                                Conclusion

                                If you’re serious about gaining muscle fast the healthy way, it requires commitment and consistency. You will need to exercise and I highly suggest you download MyFitnessPal to track progress, set goals, and maintain diet.

                                It’s also motivational because you can find like-minded people in the fitness community, or encourage your friends to download the app as well and follow each other. I personally did this when I was losing weight and gaining muscle, and it was a blast to see my own progress and that of people I care about.

                                As always I’m not just here to write about the steps you need to take, I’m also here to help! You can message me anytime or email me with any questions you may have. I’m more than happy to assist with your muscle building and weight loss goals!

                                Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via how to gain muscle fast

                                Reference

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