Bikram hot yoga is an incredible, whole body workout. You stretch every ligament and muscle, extensively work your cardiovascular system and you even compress and flush your internal organs. But for as amazing as this 90 minute yoga discipline may be, supplementary strength training can help advance your practice and balance out your body.
These strength training exercises help me with my practice, build muscle tone and arm strength. Since Bikram yoga doesn’t incorporate the chaturanga in vinyasa yoga, many of these exercises help you tone your arms without the painful strain on your wrists and forearms.
The biceps are probably the least worked muscle group during the 90 minute practice. Basic bicep curls help balance the toning that takes place in your forearms and shoulders. I do three sets of 20 reps. You can purchase non-vinyl dumbbells on Amazon HERE (affiliate link).
Using dumbbells I balance out the bicep curls with tricep extensions. This has helped support many of the floor series postures, like the spine strengthening series and some postures in the advanced series.
If you’re lucky enough to workout at a gym with ropes (pictured above), lucky you! This is a great whole body strengthening plus cardio workout!
Squats and Gluteus Extensions
Using the same dumbbells that I use for bicep curls, I do three sets of twelve squats. If you keep the same alignment as you do in Awkward Pose (making sure your feet are facing forward) you can crank out a few squats without compromising your knees. I also like to place the weight behind my knee and lift up for a great butt boosting exercise. Toning your buns can help with several postures including Standing Bow, Bow, Lotus, Camel and beyond.
These strength training exercises are so easy to complete at home, no gym membership necessary!
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