Regardless of your age, a strong body is important. If you’re physically weak, your stamina, nerve stability, and immunity will become compromised. As a result, physical tasks can become stressful and tiring. With this in mind, not only does a strong body look great, but it feels great too! If you’re looking for a natural and practical way to build strength, yoga is a great option. In this article, we explore how men can build strength with yoga. Before getting started, be sure to pick up a men’s yoga t-shirt and some comfy shorts.
Body strength is the ability to exert a force on an external object. This object doesn’t necessarily have to be heavy; however, the more weight you can lift, the more strength you have. Another thing that counts is the intensity to which you can apply the force. Additionally, body strength is used to counter and resist an external force. Not only does adequate strength make your life easier, but it’s also good for your overall health.
When you think of ways to build body strength, yoga is unlikely to crop up. Typically, most people associate weight lifting with building strength, and yoga with flexibility. However, yoga can actually do both. Instead of using external objects like dumbbells, yoga uses your body weight to strengthen the muscles. Better still, building strength with yoga will also improve your muscle flexibility. This will help you to avoid the injuries commonly associated with building strength. As yoga uses your body weight to build strength, no external equipment is needed. This is great for those on a budget or who find it difficult to get to the gym.
To practice Boat Pose, sit down on the floor with your legs extended. Next, place your hands on the ground behind your hips, with your fingertips pointing towards your feet. Press your palms firmly into the ground as you strengthen your arms. Keeping your back straight, gently lean back and lift your feet off the ground. Your shins should now be parallel to the floor. As you lift your chest, lengthen the front of your torso. Finally, reach both arms forward until they are in line with your shoulders. You are in Boat Pose. Hold the pose for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply. For best results, try drawing your chin into your chest. This action brings the base of the skull away from the neck, allowing the body to enjoy a deeper stretch.
To practice Locust Pose, begin by laying on your stomach. Next, raise your head off the mat and draw it backwards, arching your back as you do so. Lift your legs off the ground whilst raising your arms so that they’re parallel to the mat. Finally, engage your shoulders and hips to maintain stability. You are in Locust Pose. Hold the pose for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply. When used regularly, this asana strengthens the upper body and also relieves tension in the back.
This arm balancing asana strengthens the abdominal muscles and wrists. To practise Crane Pose, begin in a squatted position. Next, bend your torso forward and place your hands in-between your thighs. When you’re ready, press your palms into the mat and slowly lift your feet off the floor. You are in Crane Pose. Hold the posture for around 30 seconds before lowering your feet back down to the mat.
Eight Angle Pose strengthens the upper body and helps you attain equilibrium. Additionally, the posture strengthens the lower and upper back. To practice the asana, begin seated with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bring your right knee into your chest, then bring your right arm to the inside of your bent leg. Use both hands to take a hold of your right foot and move the underside of your knee behind your right shoulder. Before moving on, hook your leg as firmly behind your shoulder as possible. Next, place your hands on the floor on either side of your hips. To maintain balance, spread your fingers apart and keep your chest lifted. When you’re steady, lift your left leg and cross your left ankle over your right. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and bend your torso forward. Keeping your legs squeezed, extend them until they are straight. You are in Eight Angle Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
Chair Pose builds strength and stability in the legs and abdominals. To practice the asana, stand tall with your big toes touching. Taking a deep breath in, raise your arms above your head and point your fingertips toward the ceiling. Draw both your shoulders back as you lengthen your neck. As you exhale, bend your knees and begin to lower your bottom down and back, much like you would when sitting on a chair. At this stage, it’s important to not let your knees extend past your toes. Each time you inhale, lengthen your spine a little more. With each exhale, deepen the stretch by lowering your bottom further toward the floor. You are in Chair Pose. For best results, remember to keep your abdominal muscles engaged and ensure that your thighs are touching throughout. Hold the posture for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
Big Toe Pose helps to stretch and strengthen the hamstrings. To practice the asana, begin standing tall. Next, bend at the waist and lower your torso towards the mat. If possible, touch your hands on your big toes. If you can’t reach, don’t panic! Instead, rest your hands on your shins. You are in Big Toe Pose. Hold the asana for around 1 minute for best results. When used regularly, the posture will also strengthen the knees, toes, and ankles.
To practice Triangle Pose, begin standing with your feet apart. Bring your arms out to the sides until they’re in line with your shoulders. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in 45 degrees. Engaging your quadriceps, bend to the side over your right leg. For support, place your right hand on your ankle, shin, or knee. Finally, lift your left arm towards the ceiling and gaze at your fingertips. You are in Triangle Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
To practice Pigeon Pose, begin standing tall on your mat. Next, hinge at the waist and lower your torso towards the ground until your body forms a triangle. From this position, extend your right leg back behind you. Bring your right knee to your right wrist and move your foot to touch your left wrist. At this stage, your shin should be perpendicular to the front edge of your mat. You are in Pigeon Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before switching sides.
Whether you’re looking to build strength for health or aesthetic reasons, practice the postures above to achieve your goal. If you’re practising at home, be sure to have the right equipment before you begin. To avoid injury, always practice on a good quality yoga mat and wear a suitable pair of men’s yoga shorts.