Are Warrior Poses Good for Toning Muscles?

Are Warrior Poses Good for Toning Muscles?

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Warrior I can help strengthen the quadriceps and shoulders.

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Yoga is well known for helping people earn a firm, toned physique along with a peaceful mindset. In particular, yoga's powerhouse Warrior poses can help tone muscles because of their rigorous physical demands and because they're often held for longer breath counts during a yogic sequence. Regular features of the popular Sun Salutation yoga routine, Warrior poses increase strength and leave your body looking toned throughout.

Warrior I

In Warrior I pose, you stand with your front knee bent at a right angle over your front ankle while the back leg is extended straight back. For support, your back foot is inverted at a 45-degree angle. Meanwhile, your core is engaged and arms are extended overhead. Warrior I is good for toning muscles through the core, back and shoulders because of the vigorous upward reach through the torso, according to iYoga Life. The active quadriceps in both legs also provide toning opportunities.

Warrior II

The versatility of Warrior II pose makes it common throughout a yoga class; it transitions students from beginner or intermediate poses into more advanced, challenging postures. Because it's commonly employed as a transition pose, though, students sometimes lose the opportunity to tone by rushing through it. Take your time to experience full benefits. In Warrior II, adopt a similar foot and leg stance as in Warrior II. However, when the front right knee is bent, the right arm will extend out in front while the left arm extends to the back leg. This will naturally cause your hips and torso to open somewhat. This pose is good for toning muscles in the low back because of the dynamic tension resulting from extending the arms in opposite directions, according to iYoga Life. The core, arms and legs become more toned.

Warrior III

Warrior III is a balancing pose, making it somewhat different from Warrior I and Warrior II. Press one foot into the floor, keeping that leg straight. The other leg and foot will press back behind you, keeping parallel with the floor to create a right angle. Dive the torso forward to create a "T" shape with the body, and extend both arms in front. The abdominal muscles are contracted for better balance, creating a toning opportunity, according to iYoga Life. Extending through the arms helps tone the shoulders and upper back. Meanwhile, staying strong on the balancing leg helps tone the quadriceps.

Reverse Warrior

Reverse Warrior is a cousin of Warrior II; in fact, you'll use Warrior II to transition into Reverse Warrior. From Warrior II, drop the back-reaching arm to rest lightly on the extended back leg. Lift through the front arm, sweeping the hand overhead and then backward to create a "C" shape through the arm, shoulder and torso. These motions activate and tone the quadriceps, oblique side muscles, and back muscles. The slight backbend also helps strengthen the neck muscles, according to My Yoga Online.

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