Our legs carry us everywhere. The stronger they are, the more easily and comfortably we can carry out routine activities. These 5 yoga poses for strong legs will ensure you have the power and flexibility to move smoothly through your day.
Awkward pose (Utkatasana)
This is a great pose to strengthen the knees, and a wake-up call to major muscle groups including quadriceps, abs and calves. Building these large muscle groups increases your overall strength and stability. Key posture points are to keep your feet parallel in the shape of an 11 (don’t let your feet turn in or out), and to keep your abs tight.
Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyssana)
To super-charge your legs, try Anjaneyssana. This energising pose activates all the large muscles of your lower body, with an emphasis on the quads and glutes. To protect your knee, make sure it stays above the ankle on the front leg; straighten your back leg, tuck the pelvis, tighten the abs, and reach for the sky.
Standing bow pulling pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana)
This pose builds balance, strength and flexibility. Begin square, with your right hand holding your right ankle from the inside and left arm up, palm forward. As you kick your body tilts forward, activating the muscles in both legs. Kick into the hand until you can see your foot in the mirror at the centre of your head. Keep the hips level to the ground.
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
In this pose you challenge your legs by balancing while holding a tall, straight posture like a tree. Create a firm base by locking the knee of your standing leg, which activates your muscles. Find your balance as you bring your other leg up. Once in the posture breathe deeply, extending your spine and growing upward with each breath.
Eagle pose (Garudasana)
Eagle pose builds lower body power while increasing overall flexibility. Your standing leg is working hard to keep your body level, which rapidly strengthens your msucles. This is a challenging pose so start with a few seconds and gradually increase your time. Keep the weight evenly distributed on the foot and hips straight. Wrapping the second leg creates a deep stretch in the muscles and connective tissue.
Read more: Three single-leg balancing poses, Three yoga poses for toes