Yoga for Fit Chicks
You don't have to be a yogi to incorporate yoga moves into your routine and reap the benefits of this underrated fitness method.
As demonstrated here by IFBB fitness pro Bethany Cisternino, these postures not only work every muscle while stretching you out, they’ll also help keep your mind clear while getting your body fit and strong.
This vinyasa yoga routine is meant to be performed as flowing postures, moving through each series of poses as instructed.
1. Plank & Forward Bend
Works: shoulders, arms, core, hips (plank). Stretches: hamstrings, lower back (forward bend)
- Begin on all fours, hands under your shoulders and knees under hips. Straighten your legs, moving into plank pose (top left) and keeping your head and spine aligned, and your abdominals engaged.
- Staying in plank, lift your left foot a few inches off the floor and hold here for eight even breaths. Lower your leg and switch sides, holding pose for eight full breaths.
- Then lift your hips toward the ceiling while lowering your heels toward the floor as you move into downward-facing dog (bottom left; body forms an inverted V).
- From downward-facing dog, walk your hands back to your feet. Keep your upper body bent over your legs in forward bend (right). Hold here for 10–15 breaths, then lower your hands to the floor and return to downward-facing dog.
Tip: Keep your upper body long, not rounded, as you bend forward.
2. Yoga Pushup & Child's Pose
Works: triceps, shoulders, core, thighs (pushup). Stretches: back, arms, shoulders, hips (child's pose)
- From downward dog, shift forward to plank pose. Bend your elbows, keeping your arms close to your sides as you lower halfway down into yoga pushup (chaturanga; top).
- Straighten your arms, pressing your hands into the floor to move back to plank pose (not shown). Repeat yoga pushup/plank sequence 10 times.
- After final pushup, press hips back toward ceiling to downward-facing dog. Stay here for one breath, then bring knees to the floor, sitting back on your feet and reaching forward with your arms as you rest in child’s pose (bottom). Repeat one more set of yoga pushup/plank series.
Tip: Keep elbows hugged close to sides of your body, and abs pulled in during yoga pushup.
3. Crow Pose
Works: arms, abs, hips
- Bring palms flat onto floor, about shoulder-width apart, and squat down, keeping your feet and hands close.
- Lifting your feet off the floor one at a time, place your knees onto the back of your upper arms. Draw your navel toward your spine and hold.
Tip: To make crow easier, bend your elbows and push firmly into hands.
Works: shoulders, lower back, thighs
- Begin in plank. Do one yoga pushup, keeping elbows close to your sides. Lower your body all the way to floor.
- Reach both arms forward, palms facing each other, while lifting your chest and legs. Stay here for 15 breaths.
- Lower chest and legs to floor then repeat series from plank two more times.
- To finish, bring hands back to mat and press halfway up to yoga pushup. Continue pressing up into plank pose, arms straight, then raise hips toward ceiling as you move into downward-facing dog.
Tip: While in grasshopper, extend arms forward while reaching back with heels.
5. Warrior 3
Works: shoulders, arms, back, core, glutes, thighs; balance
- From downward-facing dog, lift left leg to hip height. Walk hands back, keeping left leg lifted, then rise up, extending arms next to your ears with palms facing each other. Hold for 10–15 breaths, reaching forward with your arms while reaching back with left leg.
- Lower hands to the floor and walk them back out to downward dog, lowering your right leg to the floor. Repeat sequence on left side, ending in downward-facing dog.
Tip: Keep hope level and square to the floor while pulling your belly in for support.
6. Yoga Pushup Series
Work: shoulders, triceps, core, glutes, thighs, calves
- From downward dog, shift your weight forward to move into plank pose. Lower halfway to yoga pushup. Lift your right foot, and hold here for five breaths.
- Lower your right foot to the floor briefly, then bring your right foot as far as you can out to the right, keeping your leg straight; hold here for five breaths.
- Return foot to center, keeping it lifted, and press to downward dog. Lower your right leg to the floor. Shift to plank, and repeat low pushup series with left leg, ending in downward dog.
Tip: Keep shoulders level and square to the mat. Don’t allow your lower back to sag.
7. Plank Pull-In
Works: shoulders arms, back, core, glutes, thighs, calves
- From downward-facing dog, shift forward to plank pose. Pull left knee to back of left triceps, rounding your back while keeping arms straight. Hold pose for five breaths.
- Lower your knee halfway to your elbow as you exhale. Inhale, pulling your leg back toward the top of your left arm.
- Repeat sequence five times, then return to downward-facing dog. Repeat full sequence with right leg.
Tip: Draw navel in, and keep your elbows straight but not locked.
8. Boat and Half Boat
Works: shoulders, abs, thighs, biceps
- Sit on the floor, legs extended forward and arms at your sides. Reach arms forward at shoulder height while lifting both legs 45° to floor, forming a V.
- Lower into half boat, bringing your legs and upper body toward the floor; keep your head, neck, shoulders, and legs lifted while continuing to reach forward.
- Come up to full boat, then lower again to half boat. Repeat sequence 10 times; rest a few moments and repeat for another 10 reps.
Tip: Keep chest open and legs together, spreading toes as you reach legs forward.
Works: shoulders, core; balance
- Begin in downward dog, then walk your feet forward, keeping your arms straight.
- Lift your right leg, and hop up off left foot a few times to get your momentum going, then lift both feet off the floor as you move into a full handstand. Stay here as long as is comfortable.
Tip: To make it easier, practice handstands near a wall, keeping feet against wall for balance.