8 Yoga Workouts To Tone Your Muscles

May 17, 2015 //

Toning is for fitness gurus who want their muscles to gleam, right? Wrong! You can tone your muscles even if you aren’t a weight-lifting champion or serious athlete. In fact, toning is really good for everyone because it targets specific muscles with strength training and refinement.

Further, toning doesn’t require specialized exercises or high intensity workouts. You can tailor your yoga for toned muscles. Yoga for muscle toning is really just yoga that emphasizes using particular muscles in such a way that the precise strengthening will give your body more definition.

Yoga toned muscles are attractive and easy to achieve. The key to toning through yoga is to focus on moving slowly and precisely so that your muscles get the best workout possible.

Get started now with these eight yoga workout moves that will redefine your muscles:

1. Sleeping Butterfly Stretch

Tones your: Abdominal muscles, lower back muscles.

  • Sit with your legs crossed in a butterfly position on the floor.
  • Without lifting your buttocks off of the floor, bend as far forward as you can.
  • Reach until your palms touch the floor, keeping your back as straight as possible.
  • Hold the position 30 seconds and then slowly return to the upright position without using your hands for support.

2. Standing Mudra

Tones your: Shoulder, back, and thigh muscles.

  • While standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, interlace your fingers behind your back with your palms facing outward.
  • Pushing your arms straight out behind you, begin to bend but only do so at the hips.
  • Bend until you cannot bend any farther without arching your back.
  • At the same time, bend your knees slightly to perform a squat.
  • Hold the position at least 30 seconds, rest, and then repeat.

3. Camel’s Hump

Tones your: Whole body.

  • Start in a standard planking position facing the floor.
  • Without moving your feet, lower yourself until your forearms are flat on the floor.
  • Arch your back and buttocks into the air to form a hump.
  • Freeze and hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Be certain to rest in between repetitions of this pose because it’s more intense than it looks.

4. Tree Pose With Heel Lift

Tones your: Legs and core.

  • Place your palms together in front of your chest, letting your elbows point out to your sides.
  • While standing, bend your left leg and place your left foot flatly against your right thigh.
  • Hold the pose on your right leg and slowly lift your right heel until you are balanced on your toes.
  • Stay on your toes for 10 seconds before returning your heel to the ground.
  • Switch legs and repeat.

5. Toe Point Superman

Tones your: Whole body, with emphasis on your legs and core.

  • Raise your hands above your head, straightening your arms to pose like superman while standing with your feet flat and shoulder width apart.
  • Extend your right foot out in front of you, pointing your toes so that they lightly touch the floor.
  • At the same time, raise your left heel so that you are primarily balancing on your left toes.
  • Hold for 10 seconds (or as long as you can make it!) and then return both feet to their flat starting position.
  • Repeat and switch your legs for each repetition after resting a few seconds.

6. Planks To Crow Pose

Tones your: Whole body, but specifically targets your arms and core.

  • Get into a standard plank position.
  • Hold the position 10 seconds.
  • Lean forward to put most of your weight on your palms.
  • Tuck your knees up to your chest to enter into a crow pose.
  • Hold this position five seconds before returning to a plank.
  • Repeat at least three times.

7. Boats And Half Boats

Tones your: Core especially, but also the backs of your arms and legs.

  • Lying on your back with your arms at your side, be sure that your whole body is straight.
  • Without using your arms for support, raise your torso and legs straight up until both are a few inches off the ground.
  • Hold this half boat position for 10 seconds.
  • Raise your torso and legs higher until your body forms a “V.”
  • Hold the full boat positions for 10 more seconds before returning to a resting state and then repeating.

8. Side Planks With A Twist

Tones your: Whole body at once.

  • Lay on your right side on a steady surface.
  • Raise yourself up with your right palm to the floor until your arm is straight.
  • Keep your legs straight as well to perform a standard side plank.
  • While holding the position, bend your left arm so that your elbow is tucked at your side.
  • Slowly twist your torso as far back and then as far forward as possible without losing your balance.
  • Repeat the exercise on the other side. 
Bethany McIlrath

Bethany McIlrath is a freelance writer who loves sharing tips with her readers to help them to live healthier, fuller lives. Living the busy and sedentary life of a writer, she understands that staying healthy and fit can require creativity. With a passion for motivating others and enthusiasm for food and fitness, Bethany is confident that you can tweak a little here and there in your diet and your routine to boost your health and live more vibrantly.

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