Strength Training for Yogis: How Squats Can Help Your Yoga

Squats are the first step to finding balance between yoga and strength training.

One of the most functional movements the body performs is a full squat. When done correctly, a squat strengthens the core, spinal erectors, glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, and quads. In addition, range of motion improves within the hips and ankles, as well as athletic power for lifting, jumping, and running.

For a yoga practitioner, the main benefit of this functional movement is to create stability and strength within the hip joint itself. Warrior poses and balancing poses become easier as you increase strength within this major joint.

Working on strength will translate into a more sustainable yoga practice.

Why Squats?

Some poses in yoga encourage hypermobility over stability. We’ve all seen those yogis who can contort themselves into deep backbends or extreme hip openers. While their anatomy allows them to continue to dive deeper into these more advanced and challenging postures, most of us don’t have that natural flexibility.

“For a yoga practitioner, the main benefit of this functional movement is to create stability and strength within the hip joint itself.”

This is why, in my opinion, finding the balance between a regular yoga practice and a strength training protocol is your best bet for long term physical health. And learning to squat is the first step.

5 Basic Points of Performance for the Air Squat

  1. Feet shoulders distance with toes slightly turned out
  2. Spine neutral, keeping belly in, chest up
  3. Weight in heels, hips back and down
  4. Hips below crease of knee
  5. Drive through heels, knees press out to stand up

Focusing on the cues will help you steer clear of squats that start and look like this:

Three Workouts

Below are three workouts – that can be done at home, at the gym, or outside – to help you incorporate squats into your weekly routine. They require minimal equipment and only about twelve to 45 minutes of your time, depending on which one you choose.

Warm Up:

  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 5 Sun Salutations
  • 10 Squats
  • 1-Minute Forearm Plank Hold
  • 10 Squats
  • 5 Sun Salutations
  • 100 Jumping Jacks

Workout #1

For Time:

  • 50-40-30-20-10 Squat / Sit Up

Do 50 squats, then 50 sit up, then 40 squats, 40 sit ups, etc.

Workout #2

12-Minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):

  • 12 goblet squats (with weight)
  • 30-second plank hold
  • 12 back-stepping lunge

To do the goblet squat: Choose a kettlebell or dumbbell weight that is on the lighter side. Hold the weight like a goblet and keep it close to your chest.

yoga, goblet squat, strength, yoga strength, strength for yoga, squats

Workout #3

3-Mile Run:

  • Run 1 Mile – 80% Effort
  • Run 1 Mile – Every minute do 10 squats
  • Run 1 Mile – 70% Effort

More Like This:

Photo 1 courtesy of Shutterstock.

Photos 2 and 3 courtesy of Stephanie Ring.

Leave a Comment

Do Not Sell My Personal Information