Yoga Poses for Stronger Quads and Toned Thighs
Stand in mountain pose. Bend knees and sink hips back like sitting down in a chair. Reach arms high, framing face. Look in front of knees and make sure you can see your toes. If you can't, sit hips back until you can. Drop shoulders away from ears, look up slightly, and pull belly in to engage core. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
Related: The Best Yoga Poses for Flat Abs
Warrior III Roll-Ups
From standing, hug right knee into chest, inhale arms high and leg long, and roll down, reaching right leg behind you and fingertips to the ground. Or, for extra balance, strength, and core work, reach arms on either side of waist, fingertips pointing toward right foot. Take a big breath here in warrior III (pictured). Keep right leg straight and come up to stand, with right leg long and in front of you. That's 1 rep. Do 5 reps, then repeat on the other side.
From standing, shift weight onto right leg. Bend left knee and grab the inside of left ankle with left hand. Gently lift left leg and press ankle into hand to open your back. Reach right arm straight up. Stay here for 5 long, deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Hand to Foot Pose Dips
Stand in mountain pose. Transfer weight into right foot and hug left knee into chest. Take a hold of left big toe with the first and second fingers and thumb of left hand, or loop a strap around foot. Steady yourself here, and then gently extend left leg forward, leading with heel. Find a slight internal rotation of the left thigh so that toes point toward the ceiling. Reach right arm up to the ceiling on the side of your face. Bend right knee, reaching butt back so that the knee doesn't move beyond the foot. Keep lowering butt toward the ground as much as possible, then return to the starting position. Do this for 10 reps. Try to go a little lower every time you do this, then repeat on the other side. If your knee is unstable, do this move next to a wall for support.
Lunge Knee Lifts
From a forward fold, step right leg back so that you are on the ball of your right foot, and left knee is directly over left ankle in a low lunge. Take hands to left thigh for support. Reach back through right heel, and lift right knee off ground (pictured). Then, slowly and with control, tap the right knee gently back to the ground or your mat. That is 1 rep. Do 10 to 20 reps and then repeat with the left leg stepping back.
One-Legged Bridge Pose
Lie on your back, feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart. Let arms rest on either side of you, reaching toward heels. Press into feet (especially into the big toe mound), lengthen through tailbone, and lift hips. Interlace hands together underneath you, and, if it feels good, wiggle shoulders closer together one at a time. For an extra challenge, lift your right leg straight up, and breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Come down and repeat lifting the left leg.