Yoga might not be known for getting heavy lifters pumped, but it can definitely put your muscles to work. Moving into and holding poses challenges your strength, balance, flexibility and so much more.
But on days you want to take your yoga muscles to the next level, grab a pair of light weights (around 2 to 5 pounds) and try out this 20-minute dumbbell yoga workout. By adding extra resistance to the poses, it gives your muscles an even bigger challenge to stabilize, especially through the isometric holds.
Do 10 to 15 reps per exercise back to back, then repeat for 2 rounds. Each inhale and exhale counts as one rep. Be intentional with each pose, moving slowly and with control. The slower you are with each pose, the more you'll feel the burn.
Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here – we've got something for everyone.
Move 1: Tadasana Arm Raise With Dumbbells
- Start in tadasana mountain pose and draw your shoulders down your back. Set your gaze at a point in front of you.
- With your arms by your side, slowly take a deep breath in. Then stretch your arms out in front of you and lift them overhead toward the ceiling. Your biceps should be by your ears.
- With your hands and weights facing the ceiling, exhale as you slowly return your arms out in front of you and bring them back to your sides.
Move 2: Chair
- From tadasana mountain pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, inhale as you raise your arms slightly overhead. They should be aligned with your ears.
- Bend your knees and send your hips back, bringing your thighs as parallel to the floor as they can get. Your knees will project out slightly over your feet.
- Draw your shoulder blades down your back and shift your weight into your heels.
- Exhale to come back to tadasana mountain pose.
Move 3: Warrior III
- From tadasana mountain pose, draw your shoulders down your back and hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides.
- Place your weight on your left leg, allowing your left foot to stay rooted in the ground. At the same time, lift your right leg out and up behind you. Flex your toes down toward the mat.
- On an inhale, bring your arms out in front of you.
- As you exhale, slowly bring your arms apart to form a cactus shape.
- Bring your arms back out in front of you.
- Repeat on your opposite leg during the second round.
Move 4: Goddess Pose
- Stand in a wide-legged stance with both feet facing the corners of your mat and your heels turned in slightly toward each other. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Slowly lower your body down toward your mat, bringing your thighs parallel to the ground.
- Lift your arms up toward your shoulders, bending your elbows at 90 degrees and forming goal posts with your arms.
- On an inhale, lift your arms up toward the ceiling and exhale as you bring them back to the starting position.
Move 5: Boat
- Sit on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- As you inhale, lift your chest and engage your back muscles and inner thighs.
- Lean back slightly and lift your feet up to about knee height, toes spread out.
- On an inhale, place your hands behind your knees and as you exhale, separate your hands and slowly bring your elbows in toward each other behind your back.
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
Move 6: Savasana With Chest Fly
- Lie down on a mat with your legs extended in front of you and set your gaze at the ceiling. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- As you inhale, lift your dumbbells up toward each other over your chest, palms facing each other.
- On an exhale, slowly lower the dumbbells toward the mat, maintaining a slight roundness with your arms. Stop when the back of your upper arms touch your mat.
- Lift your arms back up to the starting position.