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  • 5 Yoga Wheel Exercises to Build Strength

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    Wondering What You Do With a Yoga Wheel?

    From basic stretches for flexibility to advanced balance poses, the wheel can be used by just about anyone - yogis, athletes, and fitness lovers alike. While there are a variety of uses and purposes for a yoga wheel, such as helping to learn challenging poses or opening up the chest, this particular article will focus on how to use the yoga wheel to build full body strength, with an emphasis on the core.

    ProSource Yoga Wheel prop black green

    Who Should Use a Yoga Wheel?

    Despite the name, these exercises are not just for yogis, or require any previous yoga experience. They are similar to workouts you might do in gyms and Pilates studios, because they’re excellent for core stabilizer muscles, upper body, legs, and lower back pain prevention.

    However, if you do practice yoga regularly, these movements are also an excellent way to take you to the next level by increasing your muscular endurance and ability to focus and concentrate. Try doing these one to two times per week, and you’ll likely find that your normal yoga routine suddenly feels much easier!

    These poses and exercises are best for intermediate to advanced users, as you will need the ability to maintain balance and have shoulder strength to hold yourself up in a plank position for a period of time.

    If you are a yoga beginner, start by mastering three key poses on the floor: plank, crescent lunge, and bridge. Once you are familiar with those, you can try them with the wheel as detailed below. You can also start familiarizing yourself with this yoga prop by using it for stretching.

     

    5 Yoga Wheel Poses for Stronger Muscles

    Perform the following yoga wheel exercises in the order below. This will help you to engage your core and activate your central nervous system, which will make the last exercises feel easier to perform. You can also incorporate just one at a time into your normal yoga routine, and then progress to the next pose once you’ve got the hang of it.Yoga Wheel Plank Exercise

    1. Plank
    1. Position yourself on the floor on hands and knees with wrists directly under shoulders, fingers facing forward. Place the yoga wheel on the floor behind your feet.
    2. Draw your lower belly in, then lift one leg at a time behind you, resting the top of your shins on the wheel.
    3. Once balanced, make sure your body is in a straight line with core tight. Be careful not to round your back or let your hips sink toward the floor.
    4. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
    5. To advance, lift one leg at a time off the wheel and hold.
    prosource yoga wheel knee tuck exercise2. Knee Tucks
    1. Position yourself on the floor on hands and knees with wrists directly under shoulders, fingers facing forward. Stand the yoga wheel on the floor behind your feet.
    2. Draw your lower belly in, then lift one leg at a time behind you, resting the top of your shins on the wheel.
    3. Once balanced, make sure your body is in a straight line with core tight. Be careful not to round your back or let your hips sink toward the floor.
    4. Contract your core, then bend knees and draw your legs in toward your chest, so that the wheel moves from your shins to feet.
    5. Return back to the start position, and repeat 10-15 times.

     Yoga Wheel Pike Exercise

    3. Pike
    1. Position yourself on the floor on hands and knees with wrists directly under shoulders, fingers facing forward. Stand the yoga wheel on the floor behind your feet.
    2. Draw your lower belly in, then lift one leg at a time behind you, resting the top of your shins on the wheel.
    3. Once balanced, make sure your body is in a straight line with core tight. Be careful not to round your back or let your hips sink toward the floor.
    4. Contract your core and draw your legs in and upwards, keeping them straight, so that the wheel moves from your shins to feet, glutes lifting toward the ceiling.
    5. Draw your feet in toward your body as far as you can with a tight core and straight legs, then return to start position.
    6. Repeat 10-15 times.
      Crescent Lunge on Yoga Wheel4. Lunge
      1. Start standing with the yoga wheel about 1-2 feet behind you, then place the top of one foot on top of the wheel.
      2. Carefully extend your leg back and straighten it as you bend your front knee, slowly lowering toward the floor into a lunge position. Keep your core tight and chest lifted, and be careful not to let your front knee go past your toe.
      3. Note: perform this next to a wall or hold onto or sturdy object if the balance is difficult
      4. Then, press through your front heel to straighten your leg, and draw back leg in to the start position.
      5. Repeat 10-15 times on each leg.
        Backbend on Yoga Wheel5. Backbend
        1. Sit on the floor and place wheel behind you so it aligns with your spine. Bend knees and place feet on the floor hip-distance apart.
        2. Place your hands on the wheel behind you to hold it in place as you begin to press yourself up through your feet and against the wheel.
        3. Once balanced, begin to lay all the way back on the wheel and carefully extend arms straight behind you.
        4. Reach back and place palms on the floor, fingers facing toward your head, elbows in tight by ears.
        5. Then, begin to press up through hands and shoulders, aiming to lift yourself completely off of the wheel into a full backbend.
        6. Hold as long as you comfortably can, then slowly lower back down onto the wheel and back to the start position.

          For more ideas and exercise demonstrations, watch our “How to Use a Yoga Wheel” video!




          Holly Pinkham

          Personal Trainer

          Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach

          Blogger website: http://www.RenewalFitCoach.com



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