Yoga can sometimes be seen as glorified stretching, something that pregnant ladies and people with bad backs do once a week. But with a myriad of different types of yoga out there, there are all sorts of ways that yoga can help you build muscle.

In 3 key ways, yoga is actually better for muscle-building than traditional body weight exercises because of the tension created in your muscles when holding a pose. For example, compare 1 minute of doing squats to 1 minute of holding a squat and you’ll quickly realise which is more challenging.

1. Building strength with yoga

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Don’t let the chanting and the meditation fool you, yoga recruits a lot of muscles, especially if you do a dynamic yoga class. Plenty of poses will work to strengthen your legs, your core, and your arm muscles.

However, while you can definitely build muscle with yoga, you’re not very likely to bulk up. Training for size requires you to break down the muscle fibres so that they repair and grow larger, usually keeping your reps low and your weight fairly high. Yoga is all based on bodyweight, which will help you to strengthen the muscles, but is unlikely to put them under enough pressure to break and rebuild in any significant way.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’re practicing regularly you will definitely start seeing more size in your arms, legs and butt, but you won’t suddenly become Arnie.

2. Build lean muscle from yoga

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Yoga practice centres on a lot of repetition – especially in dynamic or “flow” classes – and will involve holding poses and increasing flexibility and range of motion. This means that your muscles are being strengthened and lengthened, helping you to develop lean muscle rather than larger bulk.

Think Ryan Kwanten rather than Ryan Reynolds.


3. Functional muscle from yoga

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Since yoga is based on movement, any muscle you build will be functional muscle, based on movements (or variations of movements) you make in real life. Unlike bicep curls and bench presses, muscles built from a yoga practice will help make you stronger, more flexible, and have better posture.

Want to add some muscle-building moves to your yoga practice?

Here Are 6 Yoga Poses That Build Muscle–>

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