One of the toughest areas to strengthen our bodies is our thighs. Our thighs are one of those trouble areas where excess fat can get stored. Strengthening your thighs is the best way to rid these areas of stored fat. While you can tone your thighs by getting on a treadmill or lifting weights, many people do not like running or lifting. The good news is that you can strengthen your thighs by doing other forms of exercise like yoga.
The following article offers 6 poses that you can do to help tone your thighs. The added benefit of these poses is that they also will strengthen your hips.
See the article below and be sure to share this with any of your friends who are looking for some alternative ways to tone their thighs and hips.
Virabhadrasana can be literally translated as The Good Warrior Pose. There are three variations of this pose, and altogether, they are supposed to depict the exploits of a warrior. The pose that is described is the second stance or Virabhadrasana II.
How To Do It
Start by standing straight and moving your feet apart by three to four feet.
Turn your right foot outwards, at an angle of about 90 degrees, and your left foot slightly inwards.
Lift both your arms sideways, parallel to the ground.
Bend your right knee. Make sure that your left leg stays straight.
Turn your face to the right, and try to stretch your arms as much as you can, without letting go of their position.
Hold the stance for about a minute, and slowly come up. Bring your feet back to their initial position.
Repeat the steps for the left side. Variations
There are two more variations of the Virabhadrasana. The first one involves the same basic steps, except the arms are stretched upwards and clasped together. The other one is a more advanced pose, with one leg supporting your whole body. It involves moving your torso forward and one of your legs back so that they are aligned. Your torso and leg should be parallel to the ground, and this pose more or less resembles a ‘T’ shape.
Virabhadrasana stretches and strengthens your legs and tones your lower back. It also helps in toning the arms and reducing overall stress in your body.
This pose should be avoided by those with high blood pressure. Pregnant women and those suffering/recovering from a chronic illness should avoid it as well. 2. Naukasana/Boat Pose
In Naukasana, your body assumes the shape of a boat. It requires a certain amount of flexibility, and achieving the final position takes time and practice. So you may need to keep trying and pushing yourself.
How To Do It
Lie on your back, with your feet together and your arms by your side.
Raise your upper body and your feet off the ground, with your arms stretching towards your knees. Ideally, your upper body and feet should form 45-degree angles with the ground, and getting there will take practice. But you need to lift them as high as you can, keeping your back and knees straight.
Hold the position for 10-15 seconds, and then slowly get back to your initial position.
There is an easier variation of this pose, called Ardha Navasana or Half Boat Pose. You have to sit straight with your arms supporting you, bend your knees, and bring them as close as you can to your chest.
Naukasana stretches and strengthens your entire body. It tones your tummy, hips, thighs, and calves.
Those who suffer from low/high blood pressure, migraines, headaches, spinal disorders, and heart problems should not practice this pose. It should also be avoided by women who are menstruating or are pregnant.
3. Salabhasana/Locust Pose
How To Do It
Lie on your abdomen on the ground and place your hands by your side.
As you inhale, lift your legs and your upper torso.
Using your inner thighs, lift your leg upwards without bending your knees. Your weight should rest on your lower ribs and abdomen.
Hold the pose for a minute and then release. Variations
Beginners can start with just lifting their legs, keeping their upper body on the ground. You may also use your hands for additional support.
Salabhasana helps tone your buttocks and thighs. It also stretches all the muscles in your back and can help improve breathing.
If you are experiencing a headache or migraine, or suffering from a neck or spinal injury, avoid this exercise.
4. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana/Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose
As the name suggests, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana involves extending your hand to your big toe. This is a pose for those who have been practicing yoga for a while because it needs extreme flexibility and a strong sense of balance.
How To Do It
Start by standing straight with your arms by your side.
Shift all of your weight to your right foot, and bring your left knee towards your belly.
Wrap your left hand around your left ankle. If you are a beginner, you may place your right arm against a wall for support.
Extend your left leg forward and straighten your knee as much as you can.
Hold the position for 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat with the other leg.
As you practice more and more, you can stop using the wall for support.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana stretches and strengthens every part of your leg. It also improves your balance.
Those who are suffering from lower back or ankle injuries should refrain from practicing this pose.
5. Setu Bandhasana/Bridge Pose
Setu Bandhasana can be literally translated as the Bridge Pose. This backbend has a very positive result on your back and abdomen.
How To Do It
Lie with your back on the ground and your legs straight. Place your hands by your side with the palms facing the ground.
Slowly, bend your knees, placing them as close to your pelvis as possible.
Now, lift your hips and arch your back, with your feet still resting on the ground. Use your arms for additional support.
Lift your hands over your head, and hold this position for 30 seconds. Variations
Rather than placing your hands on the ground, you can try interlacing then underneath your lower back.
Setu Bandhasana strengthens the muscles in your back and buttocks. It also stretches the muscles in your thighs.
Those suffering from a neck or a spine injury should avoid this pose.
6. Malasana/Garland Pose
Malasana is a pose that involves deep squats. In Sanskrit, ‘mala’ refers to a garland, and that’s how the pose gets its name.
How To Do It
Stand straight and with your feet about 12 inches apart and bring the arms in front of you with the palms facing the ground.
Now squat down with a deep inhalation. While you bend down, ensure your knees are forming a 90-degree angle, allowing you to dip down in the position.
Get back immediately to the standing position while exhaling and repeat again.
There are a few variations of this pose. More experienced practitioners can fold their hands at the back, and move their torso forward so that their chin touches the ground.
Malasana stretches the torso, hips, thighs, and ankles. It also increases the flow of blood to your pelvis.
Those who have suffered a spinal, lower, or leg injury should refrain from practicing this pose.
Have you ever tried yoga for hips and thighs reduction? If not, give these asanas a shot, and watch the cellulite melt away. Let us know your experience/feedback in the comments section below.