The Best Yoga Poses for a Full Body Workout

Are you looking for an effective way to get a full body workout? Look no further – yoga offers a range of poses to target all the muscle groups in your body! In this article, you’ll discover the best yoga poses to help you get fit.

Quick facts: Best Yoga Poses For Full Body Workout

  • ✅Vrikshasana (Tree Pose): Increases Strength, Flexibility, Balance and Focus – Source: Yogapedia
  • ✅Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend): Improves Posture and Blood Circulation – Source: YogaOutlet
  • ✅Ustrasana (Camel Pose): Strengthens the Core and Improves Mobility – Source: YogaJournal
  • ✅Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose): Enhances Endurance and Improve Balance – Source: YogaBasics
  • ✅Sun Salutations: Enhances Muscle Strength, Flexibility and Cardiovascular Endurance – Source: Healthline

Introduction

Yoga is a form of exercise that combines physical and mental practices. It has the potential to provide a full-body workout, improve flexibility and strength, and regulate mood. If you’re new to yoga or want to mix up your practice, it can be helpful to know which poses can make up a full-body workout.

Here are some of the best yoga poses for a full-body workout:

  • Many of these poses target multiple muscles at once, helping you gain more benefit from less time in the studio or on your mat.
  • Other poses work gently on specific areas, such as the core or arms, adding variety to your practice.
  • As always with yoga, proper alignment is essential for maximum benefits without injury.
  • To keep your practice balanced and safe, be sure you have enough space to move fluidly between poses while listening closely to your body’s signals.

Warm-up Poses

Starting your yoga routine with some warm-up poses is the best way to prevent injury during your practice. These poses are designed to stretch and loosen your muscles, increasing your flexibility and helping your body to prepare for the more vigorous poses to come. Here are some great warm-up poses that you can use to get the most out of your full-body workout:

  • Pose 1
  • Pose 2
  • Pose 3
  • Pose 4
  • Pose 5

Cat/Cow Pose

Cat/Cow Pose is a flow-style yoga posture that helps to warm up and stretch the entire body. It’s one of the most popular poses due to its ability to target multiple areas in a single session.

The Cat/Cow Pose begins on all fours, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. From here, you will:

  • Inhale and arch your spine while lifting both the chest and tailbone up towards the ceiling, known as Cow Pose.
  • Exhale, bringing the chin towards your chest while tucking in both the pelvis and tailbone for Cat Pose.

This pose is an excellent way to increase overall circulation throughout your body as well as build strength in both arms and legs. It’s an ideal pose for yoga newbies or anyone looking for a full-body workout that can be completed in just minutes!

Downward Dog

Downward Dog is one of the most popular poses within yoga. It strengthens the arms and legs, lengthens the spine, and opens the chest, shoulders and hips. The pose is an excellent full-body stretch that will relax your muscles while improving your balance and coordination.

To get into position, start on all fours. Push up onto your hands with your arms straight as you slide your sit bones up towards the ceiling. Press down through your hands and feet to create an inverted ‘V’ shape with your body. Your back should be straight yet relaxed as you press out evenly through both hands, palms flat on the floor. You can keep a slight bend in your knees if that feels more comfortable – just make sure it doesn’t feel like strain! Hold for five deep breaths before releasing down to all fours again to repeat as desired.

Sun Salutation

Sun Salutation is a classic yoga sequence consisting of twelve poses that draw the body back and forth like waves on a beach. It is a great warm up sequence that prepares your body for more strenuous physical activity. The Sun Salutation can be done at any pace, allowing you to move with your breath, or hold each pose as long as feels comfortable.

The Sun Salutation begins with Mountain Pose (Tadasana), then moves into an upward facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) and down dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). From there, it follows with a forward fold (Uttanasana), half forward fold (Ardha Uttanasana) and upward facing dog again. To complete the sequence, simply reverse the motions, which brings you back to Mountain Pose once more. It’s a great way to ignite your circulatory system and wake up the body!

Core Strengthening Poses

Doing the right yoga poses can help you to build a strong core, which is essential for a full body workout. Core exercises help to improve posture and balance, and can help to increase overall strength and stability.

In this article, we will look at the best yoga poses for core strengthening:

Boat Pose

Boat Pose (Navasana) is an abdominal pose that strengthens the entire core, particularly the upper and lower abdominals. It also strengthens the back muscles while lengthening the spine. While this pose can be challenging for beginners, with time and patience it can be a great way to improve posture, balance and stability throughout the body.

To come into boat pose, one must first begin in a seated position on their mat with legs together and hands on the floor behind them for support. Then bend your knees and extend your legs out in front of you until your shins are parallel to the floor. Your fingertips should lightly touch your heels during this move to keep your lower back from rounding over. Make sure you engage your core by drawing it towards your spine and lifting your chest up towards the ceiling. Hold this pose for five deep breaths before releasing back down onto your mat with control.

Plank Pose

The Plank Pose, or Phalakasana in Sanskrit, is one of the most popular and foundational poses in Yoga. This pose strengthens the entire body while increasing stability, balance and core strength.

To do this pose, begin by lying on your stomach with your palms flat on the mat and shoulder width apart. Exhale as you slowly press up onto your toes, forearms and elbows with the intention of forming a straight line from head to toe. Be sure to distribute your weight evenly between your palms and toes as you engage your core (actively drawing your navel in toward your spine), hold for several breaths then inhale before exhaling as you release the pose and rest on the floor.

The Plank Pose is an essential move for anyone interested in building overall strength through yoga.

Crow Pose

Crow Pose (Bakasana) is a challenging arm balancing yoga pose that strengthens the upper body and core. It can also increase flexibility in the arms, shoulders, back, and legs.

To begin this pose, start in a squatting position with your palms pressed firmly against the ground. From there, move your feet closer to your hands until you are able to bend at the hips and bring your knees off of the floor. Now with your weight distributed evenly between your arms and legs, press into the palms of your hands and lift yourself up off of the floor as you straighten out both arms. If successful, you will find yourself balanced on just your hands and feet—like a crow!

This pose requires tremendous strength throughout the entire body as well as excellent balance—making it an effective full-body workout.

Arm and Shoulder Strengthening Poses

Yoga is a great way to build strength in your arms and shoulders, and there are plenty of poses that can help you with that goal. In this article, we will discuss the best arm and shoulder strengthening poses for a full body workout.

We’ll look at the benefits of each pose, as well as the modifications and tips for each. Let’s begin!

Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga dandasana, also referred to as “Four-Limbed Staff Pose” is a beginner-friendly yoga pose that provides a great strengthening exercise for the arms, shoulders and back.

To perform this pose, begin in a high plank position. Inhale as you lower your torso and the front of your body to hover over the mat. Keep your elbows tucked close to your sides as you slowly lower down using only your core strength and arm strength. Exhale as you press away from the mat and come back into a high plank position.

This pose requires both strength and control so it is important to focus on aligning your hips parallel with the top of the mat. This posture also strengthens and develops endurance in both the arms and shoulders – making it an ideal tool for those looking for an effective full body workout!

Side Plank

Side Plank is a yoga pose that can be used for building strength in the arms and shoulders. This pose requires balancing yourself on one arm, opening up your chest, and bracing your core. This helps to engage every muscle from your shoulder to your toes as you strive for balance.

Side plank can be done either with both feet together or with one leg lifted in the air. Variations of side planks include placing one knee or elbow on the floor for stability, or taking it up a notch by raising and lowering the hip towards the sky. Doing this increases difficulty in engaging all of those muscles from shoulder to toe, making it an effective arm and shoulder strengthener!

Whether you’re using side plank to build strength or simply stretch out after a good workout, make sure to practice safely by using both feet together when lifting your body off the ground.

Warrior I & II

The Warrior I and II poses are two important activities from the yogic set of postures known as Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. They are excellent for strengthening the arm and shoulder muscles and for toning your core.

To begin, stand in a mountain pose with your feet together and your hands at your sides. For the Warrior I pose, step one leg back into a lunge and raise both arms above your head to interlock your hands. Make sure to keep both hips parallel to the floor throughout this move. For Warrior II, step both feet apart while keeping your arms extended in line with your shoulders. Your front knee should be bent over the ankle as you twist towards the back leg while extending both arms parallel to the floor. Keep shoulder blades pressing down into the back ribcage and gaze forwards over your front hand during this move.

This poses strengthens not only arm and shoulder muscles; but also tones core muscles, legs, ankles, calves, hamstrings, heart rate and breathing ability simultaneously!

Leg Strengthening Poses

Yoga is a great way to strengthen your legs while increasing your overall flexibility and range of motion. While there are many different types of yoga poses that can help with leg strengthening, we will be focusing on a few poses that will target the legs specifically.

Let’s take a look at some of the best poses for leg strengthening:

Chair Pose

Chair Pose is a classic standing yoga pose and essential for strengthening your lower body. It will help you build powerful quads, glutes, and other leg muscles.

To do this pose, you will stand with your feet together and bend your knees until you are in a squatted position—as if you were sitting in an invisible chair. Place the palms of your hands together at heart center; draw the belly in towards the spine; and keep the back straight and tall. Hold this pose for up to sixty seconds while focusing on maintaining strong posture and good breath control.

This position not only strengthens the legs but also improves your balance, which will come in handy when exploring more challenging poses in your practice.

Half Moon Pose

Half Moon Pose is a standing balancing pose in yoga that strengthens the entire body, particularly the legs. In this pose, you balance on one leg while stretching and strengthening your muscles on the opposite side of your body. This pose challenges both physical and mental strength since it requires you to maintain focus and intention throughout. Additionally, Half Moon Pose encourages core stabilization, builds leg strength, increase coordination and agility, and helps to open up your hips and chest.

To perform Half Moon Pose correctly, begin by standing in Mountain Pose with your feet together. Take a deep breath in as you raise your arms over head with palms facing inward. On an exhale slowly bring one foot behind you into a low lunge position while keeping both toes facing forwards and engaging your core muscles. Gently transfer your weight onto the back foot as you slowly straighten out the front leg without locking it out at the knee joint.

As you continue to inhale slowly hinge from the hip bringing both arms forward as if trying to reach for something in front of you until they are parallel to the ground before raising them to shoulder height for further extension. Hold for about 15-20 seconds before release back into Mountain Pose with an exhale before repeating on the other side of your body for equal amount of time.

Warrior III

Warrior III, or Virabhadrasana III, is a wonderful pose for strengthening and toning your legs. It can be intimidating for beginners because of its relative difficulty compared to other poses, but with practice it can be an excellent addition to a full body workout.

The pose requires balance and a sense of control as you hold yourself up on one leg while thrusting the other out behind you. Your arms should also be extended straight out in front, parallel to the floor and at shoulder level. The focus should be on finding your balance while engaging the core muscles and stretching and lengthening the legs.

When done correctly, Warrior III is an incredibly invigorating pose that builds strength in both the upper and lower body when done regularly. It also improves flexibility throughout your entire body as it encourages you to use all of your muscles while maintaining balance in this challenging pose.

Backbends

Backbends can help improve flexibility, posture and core strength. They also help increase your range of motion and energy levels. Some of the best yoga poses for a full body backbend workout include Bridge Pose, Camel Pose and Locust Pose. Let’s dive into what makes these poses so effective for a full body workout.

Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose, or Bhujangasana, is a backbend pose that is part of the traditional Sun Salutation sequence in yoga. It is considered a gentle twist and can be done by any skill level.

To do this pose, start lying on the floor with your face down and your legs extended behind you. Place your palms on the ground underneath your shoulders and slowly press into your palms as you lift your chest off of the ground. Your chin should point down to protect the neck muscle from straining too much. From here, tilt your head back slightly and continue lifting up until you feel a stretch in the front of the body. Keep pressing through the toes as you hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.

Step out of this pose by slowly lowering yourself back down to start position as you exhale.

Upward Facing Dog

Upward Facing Dog, also known as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, is a backbend pose that stretches the entire body from the top of your head to your toes. It is commonly used to transition in and out of other poses and can be incorporated into power flows or gentle restorative classes. Upward Facing Dog strengthens the arms, legs, abdominals, chest and shoulders. It also helps to improve posture by releasing tension in the spine and neck muscles.

This pose can be done either on its own or as part of a sequence of poses. Begin by laying flat on your stomach with your hands resting alongside your lower ribs. Gently press down through your hands while you draw your shoulder blades together and lift off the ground into an inverted v-shape with straight arms. Make sure to keep them aligned with your shoulders and elbows pointing backward toward the feet. Engage through your core and press down firmly through each heel while maintaining a long spine with a slight arch in the lower back. As you hold this pose, focus on taking long deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth while softening any areas of tension throughout the body.

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, is a particularly beneficial yoga pose for those looking to get a full-body workout. This pose requires core and spinal strength, as well as flexibility in the hips and shoulders. It will challenge your balance while improving posture and activating your shoulder, chest and core muscles.

To perform Bridge Pose properly, begin by lying on your back with your arms close to the body and feet flat on the ground. Press down into your feet, engaging quads as you lift your hips off the floor. Hold this position for up to five breaths before slowly lowering back down with control.

To deepen this pose, clasp hands together underneath the lower back before lifting up into Bridge Pose.

Inversion Poses

Inversion poses are a great way to boost the intensity of a yoga practice. Not only do they challenge your balance and strength, but they can help to increase blood flow and relaxation.

Let’s take a look at some of the best inversion poses for a full body workout:

Shoulder Stand

The Shoulder Stand is an inversion pose that is often practiced as part of a yoga routine. During this pose, the body is held up by the arms and shoulders, with the legs pointing straight up toward the ceiling. It requires deep core and abdominal engagement to maintain proper alignment of the spine and torso, as well as flexibility in the spine and shoulders.

In addition, Shoulder Stand provides a great opportunity for practitioners to strengthen their lower back and core muscles as they maneuver themselves into this pose. This pose not only provides an effective full body workout but also helps to:

  • Alleviate stress
  • Improve digestion
  • Stimulate circulation throughout the body
  • Soothe tired legs

It should be noted however that those who have neck or shoulder issues should practice this more lightly or avoid it altogether.

Head Stand

The Head Stand pose is a classic inversion pose that is great for a full body workout. This pose requires a strong sense of balance, agility and coordination as you lift your legs up towards the ceiling and hold them there. With your head and neck supported by the floor, you work to support your entire body from core to the extremities.

The head stand will help improve blood circulation to all of your organs, including your brain, as well as stimulate energy flow throughout the body. It can also help:

  • Improve digestions
  • Reduce fatigue and stress levels
  • Strengthen arms and shoulders
  • Stretch the spine which can help relieve back pain and more

It takes practice to master this pose but with patience and dedication you will eventually be able to successfully do it without any difficulty.

Handstand

Handstand is an important pose in yoga, as it works out almost all the muscles in your body. This advanced inversion pose involves you lifting up your feet and bringing them over your head while supporting your body with just your arms and hands.

For good handstand practice, it is important to focus on the alignment of the body and proper engagement of the core. Keep a slight bend in the elbows, press them into the floor evenly, form a straight line from fingers to toes and keep your legs close together for more balance. Engage abdominals and focus on lengthening through shoulders as you reach for full inversion. Make sure to practice with a spotter or against a wall if necessary to ensure safety during practice.

Handstand helps to

  • strengthen arms and legs,
  • open up shoulders,
  • bring balance,
  • improve concentration
  • and deepen understanding of body alignment.

Cool Down Poses

After a full body workout, it is important to cool down and relax your muscles to prevent any injuries. Cool down poses can help to relax your muscles and also reduce stress. In this article, we will discuss some of the best yoga poses that are perfect for a full body cool down:

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose, also known as Balasana, is a yoga pose that helps to stretch out and relax the entire body. It can help to reduce stress and tension as well as improve flexibility.

To perform this pose, start by kneeling on the ground with your toes together and your knees slightly apart. Sitting on your heels, lower your chest towards the floor while stretching out your arms in front of you. Focus on taking deep breaths while holding this position for up to two minutes before slowly rising back up.

Child’s Pose is an excellent restorative pose that can help with back pain and fatigue as well as provide relief from mental stress.

Seated Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend, or Paschimottanasana, is a yoga posture that helps to stretch and lengthen the spine, neck and shoulders. It also improves flexibility in the back, hips and hamstrings.

To enter the pose, start by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. You can then fold forward from your hips while keeping your back straight, letting gravity help you move into a deeper stretch. You can use props such as blocks or blankets to support yourself as you move deeper into the pose.

To come out of the pose, slowly roll up one vertebrae at a time until you are seated upright again. This is a great cool-down pose which will help to release tension in your body at the end of your practice.

Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose, or Savasana, is the ultimate cool down pose in yoga practice. This reclining posture allows for the body to relax both physically and mentally. It has a calming effect on the practitioner and helps to balance all of the systems in the body.

To practice Corpse Pose, lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and focus on your breath – allow it to slow and deepen as you let go of tension in each muscle group throughout the body. Stay in this pose anywhere from 5-10 minutes to allow for deep relaxation of the mind and body. Be sure not to fall asleep so that you can maintain a relaxed but aware state during this pose. It’s often practiced after a long session of standing or forward bending postures, so Corpse Pose gives you a chance to become still before transitioning out of class.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the best yoga poses for a full body workout include some that challenge your balance, those that lengthen your muscles, and those that require strength. This can help you achieve an overall balanced and complete workout.

Additionally, it’s important to choose poses that are appropriate for your skill level, so if you’re just starting out with yoga practice, be sure to do poses that are less challenging first before moving on to more difficult ones.

Finally, while many of these poses can be done anywhere from the comfort of your home to the great outdoors, it’s best to practice in a studio under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher for more precise instruction and an enjoyable experience.

FAQs about: Best Yoga Poses For Full Body Workout

Q1: What are the best yoga poses for a full body workout?

A1: The best yoga poses for a full body workout are Warrior Pose, Chair Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Bridge Pose, Plank Pose, and Triangle Pose.

Q2: How often should I practice yoga to get a full body workout?

A2: To get a full body workout with yoga, it is best to practice 3-5 times per week.

Q3: How long should a full body yoga workout take?

A3: A full body yoga workout should take about an hour.

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