Contrary to popular belief, yoga isn’t always easy. It’s a form of exercise that eases muscle aches, improves mental focus, and tones your muscle groups. This especially applies to your thighs, arms, and lower abdomen. Yes, yoga counts as strength training. Try these five poses to perfectly tone different muscle groups.

Planking Tones Everything

Fitness experts love planks because the pose tones every muscle group, especially your abductors, obliques, glutes, and shoulders. Start on all fours with your fingers spread slightly. Then, step both feet back. Tuck your tailbone, squeeze your quads and glutes and breathe. Hold for about one minute and repeat three to five times to develop a lean and strong midsection.

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Burn Your Quads With The Chair Pose

The chair pose will burn your quads and gluteal muscles. Start in a mountain pose by standing with your feet slightly apart. Raise your arms and reach up to release your shoulder blades down your back. Bend your knees as though you’re sitting on a chair. Hold this pose for about five to eight breaths, feeling your quads and glutes burn.

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Tone With The Side Plank

The side plank is a full-body, dynamic pose that tones your arms, back, shoulders, core, and legs. From a high push-up position, spin your heels to the right to come onto the right-side edge of your foot. Keep your legs together and your feet fully flexed. Lift your left hand all the way up towards the ceiling, looking up. Take five breaths and then transition to the other side.

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Strengthen Muscles With The Bridge

The bridge pose strengthens your thighs and glutes. Start by lying on your back with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees, keeping them hip-width apart. Lift your lower back off the floor, hold for a couple of breaths and then lower your body down, remembering to exhale. Repeat at least three times.

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The Traditional Yoga Pose

The crescent lunge is the traditional yoga pose, but it’s a dynamic, full-pose body that creates the ultimate flexibility, core strength, stability, and tones your legs, butt, and upper body. Step your right foot out in front of you with a 90-degree bend in your knee. Lift your arms overhead, shoulder-width apart. Engage your legs by grounding your back heel and front knee forward. Hold for about ten breaths, relax, and then repeat.

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