Yoga is often associated with an activity that balances the mind, but its physical benefits are underestimated. It is ideal for working the whole body, yoga can also be a great toning tool if the right areas are targeted.
There are a number of poses that aim to tone the thighs and sculpt strong, lean legs. If done correctly, yoga doesn’t just tone and firm your glutes, it gives you round, defined and lifted buttocks. Ready to get steel buttocks and toned thighs? Check out the best postures below. Hold each posture for five breaths, or ten if you want to increase the intensity!
DOWN-HEAD DOG (URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANA).
- Lie on your stomach, with your legs straight behind you.
- Bend your arms, bringing your palms back to frame your ribs and tuck your elbows in.
- Press your palms together to release your chest from the floor and stretch your arms.
- Press on the top of your feet to stimulate your thighs and refine your buttocks.
What it targets: Wrists, shoulders, legs and buttocks.
How does it work? Pressing your feet will tone all of your legs and glutes (and keep you from twisting your lower back).
LOW LUNGE (ANJANEYASANA).
- Starting in downward facing dog, step your right foot forward between both hands.
- Press your fingertips into the floor to pull your shoulders away from your ears and lift your breastbone.
- Firmly press down on the back heel and bring your inner thighs together.
- Inhale to expand the upper back, exhale to pull in and lift the stomach.
What it targets: The trunk, buttocks and thighs.
How does it work? Anjaneyasana lengthens the quadriceps and hamstrings and strengthens the core. Note: Be sure to squeeze the inner thighs together to experience the full benefits of this pose.
GODDESS POSE (UTKATA KONASANA).
- Stand with your feet wide apart, big toes pointing outward.
- Raise your kneecaps along your thighs and work your pelvic floor.
- Inhale to bring the belly button closer to the spine, then exhale to bend the knees and bring the pelvic bones down to the floor.
- The hands are pressed on the thighs or placed with the fingertips in front of the heart. Stay in position for five breaths.
What it targets: Core and thighs.
How does it work? Goddess pose is both energizing and grounded. It connects us to the earth through the soles of our feet, activates our thighs and brings fire to the belly.
SIDE PLANK (VISISTHASANA).
- Start in plank pose, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and the top of your head pointing away from your tail.
- Press hard into your heels and shift your weight to your left hand.
- Step onto the outside edge of your left foot, placing your right foot on top of it.
- Tuck your stomach in to stabilize your core and inhale with your straight fingertips skyward.
- Squeeze your inner thighs together and pull your hips up.
What it targets: Wrists, arms, shoulders, stomach, buttocks and thighs.
How does it work? Balancing on one hand promotes the activation of the central zone. Also, pressing the blade edge of your feet to the floor and lifting the hips activates the leg muscles.
CHAIR POSITION (UTKATASANA).
- Stand upright, feet close together, big toes touching.
- Inhale while raising your arms up and bringing your armpits together.
- Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your seat bones down to the floor.
- Inhale to bring the thighs together and lengthen the tailbone down, exhale to bring in the belly.
What it targets: Feet, legs, buttocks and core.
How does it work? By grounding yourself in your feet and squeezing your knees and thighs together, you tone the muscles of the legs and glutes.