Yoga Poses for Men

Basic Poses to Help You Strengthen and Stretch Your Muscles

Whether you powerlift, shoot hoops, or love to golf, these yoga poses for men can help improve your performance in whatever activity you enjoy. 

Men often complain of lower back pain, tightness in their hips, and stiff or sore shoulders. This is often the result of sitting for long hours or performing the repetitive movements required for many jobs. However, men also have a tendency to focus solely on the muscles needed for a specific sport, which can lead to over training. And, over training can lead to injuries.


Yoga Poses for Men

Almost every man who has participated in some type of sport – whether it be hockey or baseball or a 5K marathon -  knows the pain of a pulled groin muscle or an injured hamstring. You know what it's like to “throw your back out” while dancing at a wedding. And, don't even mention the sciatica flare-up after a hard workout at the gym.


Full Body Yoga

A lot of injuries can be prevented by taking a more balanced approach to exercise and focusing on the full body, rather than using only those muscles needed for a particular activity. Yoga is the perfect solution because it will help you improve both your strength and flexibility while also working your entire body.


Yoga is for Everyone

The word “Yoga” can be rather intimidating, especially if you picture pretzel-twisting movements. But, here is the good news: while the practice does have some very complicated twisty-turvy poses, the ones that provide the most benefits are actually quite simple. Anyone can do them, even the most inflexible of men. And, most of these poses can be added into any workout so you don't necessarily have to dedicate an entire session to Yoga.


10 Basic Yoga Poses for Men

With these basic yoga poses for men, you can transition from one movement to the next effortlessly. And, the entire list will only take about 5-10 minutes to complete. It is so easy, but it gets results. Within a few weeks, you will be enjoying all the benefits that Yoga has to offer.


Mountain Pose

mens yoga mountain pose

Stretches and strengthens your feet, core, and thighs; improves posture.

Pose Instructions:

  • Stand with your big toes together. You may wish to separate your heels slightly so your knees and ankle bones are not touching.
  • Make sure your weight is balanced evenly and your feet are firmly rooted on the floor.
  • Engage your quads. This motion will cause your kneecaps to rise slightly.
  • Tighten your core, lengthen you spine, keep your shoulders down and relaxed (not pulled up toward your ears).
  • Subtly reach the crown of your head toward the ceiling to elongate the neck.
  • Hold this position for one minute, concentrating on inhaling and exhaling slowly.

**All movements should be subtle. The purpose is to focus on proper alignment and posture while also strengthening specific muscles. If you feel like a tin soldier, you are probably too stiff.


Standing Forward Bend

mens yoga forward bend

Stretches the hamstrings, calves, hips, and spine; strengthens legs and knees             releases tension in the neck, shoulders, and lower back.

Pose Instructions:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose
  • Tuck your chin towards your chest
  • Exhale as you gently bend forward at the hips
  • Place your hands next to your feet
  • If you are unable to reach your feet, fold your arms across your chest, grabbing your elbows with opposite hands
  • If you feel too much tension in your lower back or hamstrings, bend your knees slightly
  • Relax your head, neck, and shoulders. Let gravity do its job.
  • Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds
  • Slowly roll back up to mountain pose, releasing the arms to your sides.

 

Warrior ll

mens yoga warrior ll pose

Stretches and strengthens legs, shoulders, hips, chest, and groin muscles; relieves back pain.

Pose Instructions:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose
  • Step your legs out so they are about 3-4 feet apart
  • Turn your left foot out to a 90 degree angle
  • Keep the toes of your right foot pointing forward
  • Keeps your hips square, facing forward
  • Extend your arms straight out to the side, parallel to the floor
  • Bend your left knee to a 90 degree angle, keeping your thigh parallel to the floor and the knee directly over the ankle.
  • Your right leg should be straight with your foot flat on the floor, toes pointing forward.
  • Turn your head to the left so you are looking at the fingertips of your left hand.
  • Make sure to turn only your head; keeping your torso facing forward
  • Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds
  • Straighten your left leg, turn your toes forward, lower  your arms and return to Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat  on other side.


Extended Side Angle Pose

mens yoga side angle pose

Stretches groin, hamstrings, shoulders, and back; strengthens knees, legs, and ankles; tones abs; improves sleep.

Pose Instructions:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose
  • Step your legs out until they are about 3-4 feet apart. You may need to widen the stance if you are taller
  • Turn your left foot out to a 90 degree angle. The heel of your left foot should be in line with the arch of your right foot.
  • Bend your left leg to a 90 degree angle, thigh parallel to the floor, and your knee directly over your ankle.
  • Place your left forearm on your left thigh, keeping your back straight.
  • Keep your torso facing forward. Do not turn it toward your bent leg
  • Raise your right arm straight up towards the ceiling, then stretch it over your head until your right bicep is touching your right ear, turn your head toward your raised arm so you are looking towards the ceiling.
  • Your hips, chest, and right leg should form a straight line
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds
  • Lower your arm, and return to Mountain Pose

 ** For a greater challenge, remove your left arm from your left thigh and place your palm next to the inside of your left foot.

** For an even greater challenge, place your palm on the outside of your left foot

** For flow of movement, you can transition right into this pose from Warrior II


Boat Pose

mens yoga boat pose

Strengthens and stretches abs, hip flexors, spine, and arms

Pose Instructions:

  • Begin in a seated position with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor
  • Place your hands on the floor slightly behind your hips, fingertips facing forward
  • Engage your core muscles, lean back slightly, and lift your feet off the floor
  • Slowly straighten your legs (they should be at about a 45 degree angle)
  • Extend your arms out in front of you until they are parallel to the floor, palms facing each other
  • Keep your back straight; try not to round your spine
  • Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds
  • As you exhale, bend your knees and lower your legs and arms

** If this is too difficult, you can leave your knees bent throughout the entire exercise

** Place your hands under your thighs for extra support if necessary

 

Chair Pose

Strengthens hips, ankles, calves, and back; stretches shoulders and chest; tones legs and glutes

Pose Instructions:

  • .Begin in Mountain Pose
  • Stretch your arms above your head, lengthening the spine
  • You may keep your arms parallel with palms facing each other or join your palms together
  • Exhale as you bend your knees to a 90 degree angle (or as close as possible) and lean your upper body forward to about a 45 degree angle
  • Keep your back and neck straight
  • Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, inhaling and exhaling deeply
  • Straighten your legs, lower your arms, and return to Mountain Pose


Downward Facing Dog

mens yoga downward facing dog

Strengthens feet, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arms, legs, core; relieves                 lower back pain and releases tension in the  neck and shoulders. The Downward Dog is an excellent pose for the runner...post run. 

Pose Instructions:

  • Begin on all fours with your knees and feet about hip width apart, hands about shoulder width apart
  • Making sure your hands are firmly rooted to the floor, slowly lift your knees off the ground until your legs are straight
  • If you have tight hamstrings, keep a slight bend in your knees
  • Press your heels toward the floor
  • Keep your head between your arms and your neck relaxed
  • Engage your core and squeeze your thigh muscles
  • Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds then return to your hands and knees

**Walking your hands forward or backward will change the intensity of the stretch

**You can move into Downward Facing Dog from a classic push-up position, so it is very easy to add  this pose to your workout.

More On Yoga for Runners

Warrior l

mens yoga warrior l pose

Stretches and strengthens legs, shoulders, hips, chest, and groin muscles.

Pose Instructions:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose 
  • Step your legs out so they are about 3-4 feet apart. You may need to adjust this distance depending on your height and flexibility 
  • Turn your left foot out to a 90 degree angle 
  • Turn your right toes in slightly (about a 45 degree angle) 
  • The heel of your left foot should be in line with the arch of your right foot 
  • Turn your torso to the left 
  • Extend your arms straight out to the side, parallel to the floor 
  • Bend your left knee to a 90 degree angle, keeping the knee directly over the ankle 
  • Raise your arms above your head, palms together 
  • Lengthen your spine and look up toward your hands 
  • Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds 
  • Lower your arms, turn your torso back to the front, straighten the bent knee, and step back into Mountain Pose 
  • Repeat on the other side.

Tree Pose

mens yoga tree pose

Strengthens ankles, calves, and thighs; stretches the groin muscles on the bent leg; improves balance.

Pose Instructions:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose
  • Shift your weight to your right foot, making sure it is firmly rooted to the floor
  • Bend your left leg at the knee, placing the sole of the foot on your right thigh. If you cannot reach your thigh, you can also place the foot on your right calf or ankle, but avoid the knee.
  • Your left heel should be pointing straight up and your toes should be pointing toward the floor. 
  • Keep your hips straight. Try not to let your right hip twist forward. 
  • Bring the palms of your hands together in front of your chest. 
  • Push the bent knee back to open the groin and increase the stretch 
  • Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Lower your left leg and repeat on the other side

** For an extra challenge, extend your arms above your head, keeping your palms together.
** If you have difficulty balancing, try performing the pose with your back against a wall.

Locust

mens yoga locust pose

Strengthens back, glutes, arms, and legs; stretches the shoulders and thighs

Pose Instructions:

  • Lie on your stomach with your forehead on the floor and your hands at your sides, palms facing up.
  • Exhale as you lift your head, chest, arms and legs off the floor
  • Lengthen your neck and head forward, and stretch your legs out behind you
  • Keep your eyes toward the floor to avoid straining your neck
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Lower and repeat

** For an easier stretch, leave your legs on the floor and lift your torso only.


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I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.



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