10 YOGA BLOCKS EXERCISES FOR FULL BODY STRENGTH
A full body strength workout using only yoga blocks?? Yes, it exists, and you’ll be surprised just how well it works!!
But first, a bit about the humble yoga block……
WHY USE YOGA BLOCKS?
Yoga blocks aren’t just for beginners — and they’re not just for yoga, either. While they are the perfect partner to any level of yoga practice, there’s so much more that you can do with them.
Yoga blocks help establish good body alignment, increase range of motion, improve balance, and help to build strength in our intrinsic muscles- the ones so often overlooked in gym workouts.
Even for the most experienced fitness fiends, they can bring an extra level of challenge and skill to almost any exercise. Just try squeezing a block between your thighs during a plank or glute bridge and you’ll feel the difference. New muscles will begin to fire, your stability will improve, and your alignment won’t be able to falter without dropping the block!
STRENGTH EXERCISES WITH YOGA BLOCKS
Let’s look at some simple ways incorporate yoga blocks into your full body workout for heightened strength and stability.
SUMO SQUAT WITH KNEE LIFT
ACTIVATES: GLUTES, QUADS, HIP FLEXORS
- Start with one foot on a block and the other on the floor, a little wider than hip distance apart.
- Squat down with the weight towards your heels, and chest lifted.
- Press off the foot on the floor and hug that same leg in towards your chest
- Repeat on the other leg
- Begin lying on your back, and maintain a neutral (natural) curve of the spine throughout.
- Squeeze the block length wise between your right knee and right elbow.
- Have your left leg at a 90/90 angle, and left arm reaching directly up to the sky
- Extend your left leg out and left arm overhead, then return them to their starting position.
- Repeat on the other leg
HIGH TO LOW BOAT POSE
ACTIVATES: CORE, INNER THIGHS
1. Start seated and place one block between your thighs. Squeeze your inner thighs to hold the block in place.
2. Begin by bringing your legs off the ground with your knees bent until your shins are parallel with your mat. Reach your arms forward and sit up as tall as you can.
3. Lower your body until your lower back touches the mat, and at the same time extend your legs out.
4. Return to the beginning position.
ACTIVATES: QUADS, GLUTES, CALVES
1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips, and place a block under each heel on the lowest setting
2. Squat down as low as you can without letting the chest collapse
3. Drive through the legs to return to your starting position
ACTIVATES: CORE, GLUTES, SHOULDERS
- Start in a table top position with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Place a block under your left knee, and one under your right hand.
- Reach your left arm out in front of you and your right leg back behind you, aiming to create a straight line from heel to hand.
- Squeeze your left elbow to right knee and round your spine, then extend back out. Take care to keep your hips and shoulders as level as possible.
ACTIVATES: ARMS, CORE, SHOULDERS
1. Start in a push up position with your wrists beneath your shoulders, either with knees lifted or on the mat. Place a block under one hand.
2. Lower your whole body toward the ground keeping strong through your core, and then press back up to your starting position. Repeat on both sides.
SINGLE ROMANIAN DEAD LIFT
ACTIVATES: HAMSTRINGS, GLUTES, CORE
1. Place one block down length ways on the lowest setting and then place one foot on the block. Stand up on the block with your other toe gently tapping the floor behind you.
2. Hinge forward from the hips and raise the back leg to about 90 degrees.
3. With control, return to your starting position. Aim to keep a straight line from the crown of your head to your back toe throughout the entire exercise.
SINGLE LEG GLUTE BRIDGE
ACTIVATES: GLUTES & HAMSTRINGS
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, soles of feet on the floor.
- Place your left foot on top of a yoga block
- Extend your right foot up to the sky and for an extra challenge place a block on the sole of your right foot.
- Keeping the right leg extended upward, lift the hips up into a bridge position, then lower down slowly. Take extra care to make sure that your left knee stays in alignment with the centre of your right foot.
ACTIVATES: CORE, TRICEPS, SHOULDER GIRDLE
- Start in a plank position with knees lifted or lowered to the ground (the latter will be easier), and two blocks on the highest setting positioned under your shoulders. Fingertips face forward.
- Keeping your elbows hugging towards your body, lower down until your shoulders just tap the blocks, the push back up into your beginning position.
ACTIVATES: CORE, LEGS
- Start in a plank position with knees lifted or lowered to the ground (the latter will be easier), and two blocks on the highest setting positioned under your shoulders.
- Lower down until your shoulders are resting on the blocks.
- Sweep both arms back along side your body, keeping your strong plank position, and hold for a few seconds, before returning your hands to the mat.