Does Yoga Build Muscle? How to Use Yoga to Get Ripped

a women is exercising yoga for building muscle

Traditionally, people have used weight lifting, bodyweight lifting, and gym visits to build muscle and get ripped. But does yoga build muscle?  

Yoga has numerous benefits, both physical, psychological, and spiritual. Recently, there has been a viral trend of using yoga and its poses for building muscle. Even though some people argue that yoga is too slow and mellow for muscle building, the science and people’s experience back up yoga as muscle building exercise.

Yoga is one of the best practices for developing and maintaining body flexibility. Besides just flexing the body, yoga is known to increase strength and endurance in specific muscle groups.

If you want to know does yoga build muscle, stay with us through this article. We will explain the science behind body muscles and propose some of the best yoga styles and poses for building muscle. 

How can yoga help build muscle?

a man is playing yoga with beautiful shape

Yoga for muscle build is similar to other muscle-building exercises or weight training exercises. 

During yoga asanas, the body endures pressure, and muscle fibers tear in the process. As a recovery, the body develops more muscle by combining the torn fibers. 

To build muscle with yoga, you need to increase the number of sets you’re doing for each pose and regularly repeat asanas to encourage the muscles to grow by triggering them. 

Regular practice of yoga can make you strong, enduring, and body-toned. That happens first by reducing stored fat in the body, and after that, by building muscle with the resistance and pressure done during asanas.

Which yoga style builds the most muscle?

a woman is playing yoga style on ground

All yoga practices eventually improve muscles and body posture, but dynamic, fast, and active yoga styles are the best for building muscle. 

The following sections will describe the 3 most useful muscle-building yoga styles. 

Vinyasa yoga muscle building 

In Vinyasa yoga, practitioners “flow” from one pose to another, building muscle strength and working out. 

When you practice Vinyasa yoga poses for strength, you work deep muscles, such as the transverse abs and six-pack.

Bikram yoga for muscle build

Bikram yoga is similar to Vinyasa yoga but done in a sweltering and humid yoga studio. 

Bikram yoga tones muscles and builds their strength by sculpting the body and toning the posture. Furthermore, since it’s performed in very humid and hot temperatures, your body will sweat far more than in other yoga practices, releasing toxins and burning fat. 

Power yoga for muscle building

Power yoga combines intensive strength and muscle training workouts and slower yoga poses. 

With power yoga, strength training can be easily achieved since power yoga is specially designed to exercise the muscles during fast-paced and dynamic yoga practice. 

Which yoga poses build the most muscle?

A women is playing yoga with fabric for muscle building

All of the yoga poses have some muscle-building and flexing properties. Nonetheless, some yoga poses are best for building muscle with yoga poses. 

These are the top 5 yoga poses for building muscle: 

Warrior Poses

There are 5 warrior asanas, each powerful enough to build flexibility, develop balance, and strengthen the whole core and specific muscles. 

These are the 5 primary Warrior poses: 

  • Warrior I – front knee bent, hips turned forward and arms raised.
  • Warrior II – front knee bent, hips turned to the side, and arms parallel.
  • Warrior III – balancing on one leg while the other is stretched backward and arms forward. 
  • Reverse Warrior – legs are in the same position as Warrior II, and the torso and legs reach to the straight back leg. 
  • Humble Warrior – same leg positions as in Warrior II, but the torso is leaned forward, and the arms are clasped in the back. 

These poses stretch and exercise your legs and thighs, shoulders and hands, stomach and groin, and upper back and neck. 

Plank Pose

The plank pose is well known to strengthen the rhomboids, the trapezius, the abdominal muscles, and the spine. As these muscles grow and strengthen, they improve posture, especially for men’s yoga bodies. 

Plank pose is also significant in yoga for strength training because it simultaneously works out many muscles in the body. The plank pose includes the muscles of the arms, the abdomen, the back, and the legs. 

Chair Pose

The Chair pose’s original name from Sanskrit literally translates as the Powerful pose or the Fierce seat. This shows that this pose is highly effective in strengthening all body parts simultaneously, building heat, and exercising all over your body. 

This pose can help you work out the arms, legs, and torso, including the core muscles and the entire spine length. Furthermore, it does pressure and endurance to the ankles, calves, hips, and back. 

Bridge Pose

The bridge Pose is one of the most accessible poses for new yoga practitioners. It’s a back-bending asana that stretches the neck, spine, chest, and hips. It also exercises the hamstrings, lower back, and buttocks. In the long run, the Bridge pose is perfect for developing spine flexibility and endurance. 

Tree Pose

The Tree pose is another reasonably simple yet demanding yoga pose. The standing leg develops strength during this pose for yoga muscles, while the bent leg develops flexibility. 

Since the pose requires you to hold the balancing posture, it engages your core, legs, and ankles. It also simultaneously exercises all the muscles in the torso because all muscles need to be contracted to keep the standing pose. 

Can you add the food for muscle building?

food for yoga exercise

Regular yoga practice can build muscle, but combining the practice with healthy food can further improve yoga to build muscle. 

If you want to gain muscle, you need high-protein foods, but also carbohydrates and fats. Yoga practice for muscles can be intense, and you can exhaust yourself if you don’t have the required energy. 

You can get your proteins from lean meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products like cottage cheese or yogurt. 

You can get calories from carbohydrates like whole grain bread, quinoa, legumes, pasta, rice, and sweet potatoes. 

To ensure you have an average intake of unsaturated fats, make sure that you use vegetable oil (like sunflower and olive oil), different seeds and nuts, as well as fish. 

Tips for building strength with yoga 

Here are some tips you can use to build strength and muscle with yoga: 

  • Push yourself more with each practice
  • Increase the time you spend holding a pose
  • Increase the numbers of times you practice yoga weekly
  • Modify the poses to make them harder
  • Add new yoga poses to the practice 
  • Don’t use the same yoga poses in each session 
  • Add resistance tools or heavy blocks to add weight
  • Do the exercises slow enough to add muscle tension
  • Engage your muscles and make sure you feel them work
  • Engage your core in every pose

FAQs about muscle-building yoga

In the following sections, we will answer some of the most FAQs about yoga for building muscle. 

Does yoga burn fat or build muscle?

Yoga is excellent for both burning fat and building muscle. Yoga can be used as a standalone practice that gets the body in shape, or it can be combined with other forms of exercise to help the process of building muscle. 

Yoga also burns calories, increases muscle mass, and tones the muscles. Furthermore, yoga relieves joint pain and helps the practitioner exercise even more in the future.

Is yoga better than the gym?

Yoga is more efficient for muscle building than a gym. Even though it might sound counterintuitive, yoga exercises different body muscles and body muscle groups in each pose compared to exercise in the gym. With that, the practitioner has the chance to exercise more muscles in a shorter period. 

Furthermore, twisting, bending, and stretching during yoga improves inner systems and body organs, allowing the body to work more efficiently and burn fat faster. 

Can you get in shape with yoga?

Yoga has numerous benefits like developing and toning muscles, building flexibility, fat loss, and better posture. With all these aspects, yoga basically helps shape your body to a tight, lean-looking physique. 

Can yoga get you ripped?

Yes, yoga can get you ripped and build up muscles and a fit physique. But, to get ripped with yoga, you need constant and persistent practice where your muscles get stressed by the poses and grow. 

To achieve that, opt for a fast, dynamic yoga style, possibly mixed with other exercise styles like bodyweight training.

How quickly can yoga change your body?

How quickly yoga changes your body for the better mainly varies from person to person. The yoga practitioner will likely see body changes 6 to 12 weeks after starting. But, yoga should be practiced regularly and consistently with the help of an experienced yoga instructor. 

Can yoga give you abs?

Yoga is an excellent practice for developing core strength and abdominal muscles. Different yoga positions affect different body muscles, but most of them will work the back, leg muscles, and abs and improve overall flexibility and endurance. 

Please note that it might take some time for your abs to show if you practice yoga to build muscle. Opt for dynamic, fast, and strenuous yoga styles for the best results, or do a combo of yoga and strength training. 

Does yoga build back muscle?

Numerous yoga poses to strengthen the muscles on the back, the side muscles, and the abdominal muscles. These muscles are essential for upright posture and smooth body movement.

Yoga vs. Weight lifting to get ripped

Many yoga poses include the arms, the upper front torso, the chest, and the upper back torso. Supporting your weight or putting any kind of pressure on your arms during yoga will exercise and strengthen the muscles. 

Regarding weight lifting vs. yoga, weight lifting might provoke more pressure on the muscles, but yoga is better for pressuring more powers simultaneously. 

When we talk about yoga body vs. weightlifting body, with weight lifting, the body might be ripped in some places while not in others. The yoga body is evenly strengthened throughout. 

Is yoga strength training?

Yoga can be vital and highly productive for strength training since most poses in yoga require constant contracting and releasing of numerous muscles. Furthermore, yoga strength training develops core strength, i.e., the inner ability of the whole body to contract and hold that muscle contraction. So, yoga is a valuable asset when strength training. 


Yoga is an excellent practice for building muscle, training strength, and improving body shape and posture. 

This article explained how yoga builds muscle, what types of yoga are best for building muscle, and what yoga poses should be regularly practiced for a better yoga physique.

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