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Yoga for Strength

Configuring the Body to Be Stronger with Less Effort
Published: 2017 12 08
Updated: 2019 08 021
Categories/Tags: Yoga for Strength
Yoga for Strength, putting your effort in the right place so you don't have to use so much of it.  Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

Yoga for Strength isn't about just doing poses to mindlessly get stronger. It is about directing your awareness and your effort so that you can apply strength effectively with less effort.

If you put your effort in the right place, you don't have to use so much of it.

Strength Index, TOC

Exercises to improve stability

For stronger yoga poses the first step is to create stability somewhere within your body.

The better you are at creating stability, the easier it is to get stronger with less effort.

If you are having problems developing strength it may be due to a lack of stability somewhere within your body. Notice where you lack stability, so that you can work at creating it.
Then you can get stronger with less effort.

You can read more about creating stability in Exercises to Improve Stability

Strengthening Yoga Poses for Abs

The poses below can all be used to strengthen your abs.

yoga poses for abs, chaturanda dandasana, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for ab, down dog with abs engaged, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, standing twist using abs to turn ribcage, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, triangle twist with bottom hand lifted using abs to twist ribcage, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, bending lumbar spine forwards with abs engaged, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, standing hip flex with flexed hip knee straight, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga Poses for abs, standing forward bend with balancing on one floot with both hips actively flexed and abs engaged, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, seated twist with hands in prayer and using abs to turn ribcage relative to pelvis, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, boat pose variation with one foot on floor and one leg lifted, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, lifting up with legs crossed, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, L-sit, lifting up with legs straight and hips and legs lifted, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
yoga poses for abs: dead dog 2, activated abs to lift pelvis and upper back off of floor. Neil Keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, side plank pose with top leg lifted and knees straight, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, half moon pose with bottom side abs engaged to help hip flexors pull chest towards thigh, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, side angle pose with both hands reaching past the head to exerise the abs, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Yoga poses for abs, triangle yoga pose with arms reaching past the head to actively stretch the abs, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses
Yoga poses for abs,  Standing forward bend, neil keleher, sensational yoga poses.

For additional ways to work on the abs, check out Agni Sara and Nauli Kriya. These could be thought of as ab isolation exercises.

Also check out Core stability exercises for tips on activating the core in poses like plank and side plank.

Exercises for strengthening the hip flexors

Hip flexor strengthening exercise, standing knee lift. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Lunge Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Hip flexor strengthening exercises, activating the quadriceps and hip flexors in front triangle standing yoga pose. (Quads and hip flexors relaxed). Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Hip flexor strengthening exercise, bending forward while standing on one leg and pullin the lifted leg forwards. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Using plank pose as a hip flexor strengthening exercise. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Using boat pose (navasana) as a hip flexor strengthening exercise. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Using wide leg seated side bend to strengthen the hip flexors. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Using Hurdlers stretch as a hip flexor strengthening exercise. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Strengthening the hip flexors in seated forward bend Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

For the above Hip flexor strengthening exercises, you strengthen the hip flexors by either actively flexing the hip (bending the hip forwards) or by resisting it being bent forwards.

Note, where you aren't standing, the torso can be used as the foundation for these exercises. When standing, you have the choice of using your standing leg (or legs) as the foundation, or your torso.

Leg Strengthening Exercises

Leg strengthening exercises for the hamstrings and glutes, pressing your legs down while doing a seated forward bend and reaching your arms forwards. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Bound angle pose sitting upright with arms behind for support, Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg strengthening exercises, side plank using the bottom leg.. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg strengthening exercises, Side plank using the top leg.  Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg strengthening exercises for the inner thighs: pressing the foot into the floor in half side split. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg strengthening exercises for the glutes: pushing your feet into the floor to lift your pelvis higher in bridge pose.  Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg strengthening exercises for the glutes: pushing one foot into the floor and lifting the other foot while in bridge pose.  Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg Strengthening exercises, lifting the hips using one leg while seated.  Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg Strengthening exercises, lifting the hips and then the bottom leg while seated using the strength of one leg without the help of your hands.  Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg strengthening exercise, reaching one leg back while standing. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg strengthening exercise, touching a knee to the floor in a lunge. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Leg strengthening exercise, touching a knee to the floor while standing, without touching the foot to the floor. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
The pistol squat, a leg strengtheing exercise. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

The above leg strengthening exercises can be used to strengthen the back of the legs, the front, or the inner or the outer parts of the legs.

Additional leg strengthening exercises include Body weight squat, deep squats, Hamstring strengthening exercises, learning the pistol squat, squats.

You can also see videos of leg exercises here leg and knee strength exercises videos.

Shoulder Strengthening Exercises

Scapular Stabilization, retracting the shoulders in easy table top to press the chest forwards and upwards. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Scapular stabilization, scapulae retracted in table top pose. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Scapular stabilization, pressing the shoulders down to lift the hips in dangle pose. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Scapular stabilize, side plank with knees bent. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
side plank with top leg on floor. Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
Scapular stabilization, dog pose, protraction on all fours. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Scapular stabilization, prep exercise for plank. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Scapular stabilization, downward dog. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

The above shoulder strengthening exercises generally use a straight arm position to support the weight of the body.

Additional shoulder strengthening exercises that don't necessarily involve body weight include: Rotator cuff exercises, standing shoulder strengthening exercises

You can read more about the shoulders and how to strengthen them in shoulder yoga.

Bent Arm Strengthening Exercises

For a focus on bent arm strengthening exercises check out Arm strengthening exercises

Also check out this article, yoga push ups for learning to lift up into chaturanga dandasana from the ground up.

To learn more about strengthening your arms for plank pose, push ups and chaturanga dandasana, check out the Arm strengthening for push ups course. This course teaches you simple exercises for activating your arms so that you can use them more effectively in exercises like push up.

Find out more about Arm strengthening for push ups.

Knee Strengthening Exercises

Knee strengthening exercises: forward bend with forefeet lifted.
Knee strengthening exericse: chair pose with thighs horizontaol. Neil Keleher, sensational yoga poses.
knee strengthening exercises: deep squat with feet parallel and close together. Neil Keleher, sensational yoga poses.
Knee strengthening exercises: deep squat with weight on one leg other foot lifted.
Knee strengthening exericses: half moon pose with knees active and hand lifted.
Knee strengthening exericse: standing forward bend with one foot lifted, knees engaged and both hands lifted.
Knee strengthening exercises: standing side bend with knee engaged.
Knee strengthening exercises: standing twist with knees engaged.

The above knee strengthening exercises include a mix of standing straight knee and bent knee exercises. The key point for all of them is to activate your knees (and feel the activation).

Hip Strengthening Exercises

Bending forwards while standing and pulling the lifted leg forwards as a hip strengthening exericse. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Using half moon as a hip strengthening exercise, shifting weight to the foot, activating knee and hip and then lifting the hand. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Standing on one leg and controlling pelvic side tilt to strengthen the hips. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Standing on one leg while bent forwards and controlling pelvic side tilt to strengthen the hips. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Standing in tree pose and controlling pelvic side tilt to strengthen the hips. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Standing in a variation of eagle pose (ankles not crossed) and controlling pelvic side tilt to strengthen the hips. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

The above hip exercises may look like your usual yoga poses, but you can turn them into Hip strengthening exercises by deliberately moving and feeling the hips. Once you can feel yor hips while moving them, you can then work at activating your hip muscles without causing movement.

Strengthening with kettlebells and more

For strengthening the back, read back strengthening yoga poses.

For tips on kettlebell strengthening and applying body awareness and yoga principles to kettlebells and weights you can read kettlebell exercises and turkish get up.

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