Most people won't think to step onto a yoga mat when they want to develop strength and muscle. People like to pick up weights and rely on resistance training for this. However, yoga requires you to repeat holding various poses for an extended period of time, which is a great way to improve muscle strength. Plus, yoga is a great way to free the mind of things that may be bothering or worrying you.
Another reason why yoga is such a great form of exercise is that it requires minimal equipment. All you need is one of the best yoga mats to move on, this is what will protect your joints from impact while working on a hard surface and it will enhance your grip while holding poses. Some people add blocks or some of the best resistance bands to their yoga sessions but, for this workout, this isn't necessary.
Certified yoga and Pilates instructor Nicole Mcpherson (opens in new tab) will lead you through the 25-minute routine in full. Just like it's crucial to perform weight lifting exercises correctly such as how to deadlift properly, this is just as important in yoga practice. Following Mcpherson's demonstrations and audio guidance for each pose, you will pick up how to move from each move with flow and will be reminded to focus on your breathing.
Not only will your breathwork help with the exercises but it will also help to calm your mind as yoga for anxiety can be an effective solution for those who worry a lot.
Watch Move with Nicole's 25-minute yoga routine
You may have avoided yoga until now because it seems too slow and boring or you don't like the faff of trying to connect your mind and body. If this is the case, a short session like Mcpherson's is a great introduction to the practice.
Yoga is an effective tool for improving your mind-muscle connection and is something you pick up with every breath and move you do in a session. When you have a great mind-muscle connection you will find it easier to align your focus with a specific muscle that you wish to target in any other workouts you do.
Even if you don't plan on using other forms of exercise to increase your strength and muscle you still can achieve your muscle-building goals only using yoga. In a study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (opens in new tab) journal, researchers found that 12 weeks of yoga practice can lead to improved muscular strength and endurance, greater flexibility and better cardiovascular health.
It's also a great exercise for improving mobility. Perhaps you find yourself hunching over a laptop screen all week and can benefit from some yoga for shoulder mobility and strength.
Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition.
When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.
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