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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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                                Published on July 18, 2019

                                11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

                                11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

                                No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

                                Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

                                The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

                                While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

                                Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

                                1. Planks

                                Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

                                Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

                                Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

                                For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

                                2. Side Planks

                                To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

                                From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

                                Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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                                Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

                                3. Reverse Crunches

                                The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

                                When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

                                The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

                                Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

                                Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

                                4. Flutter Kicks

                                The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

                                If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

                                Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

                                It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

                                5. Arms High Sit-Ups

                                Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

                                Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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                                Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

                                Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

                                6. L-Sits

                                The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

                                To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

                                Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

                                Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

                                7. Stomach Vacuums

                                And now for something different!

                                It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

                                This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

                                To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

                                Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

                                You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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                                8. Star Planks

                                Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

                                The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

                                From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

                                Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

                                9. Boat Pose

                                Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

                                Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

                                Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

                                Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

                                10. Mountain Climbers

                                Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

                                Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

                                Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

                                It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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                                11. Russian Twists

                                Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

                                Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

                                You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

                                For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

                                The Bottom Line

                                The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

                                However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

                                If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

                                Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

                                Give them a shot!

                                Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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