Three Warrior III Variations to Work Your Butt and Balance
I love using yoga pose variations in my recovery workouts and even in some of my strength training routines to develop stability.
All too often we skip from basic balancing moves that develop stability to big heavy lifts that develop strength, forgetting that without stability we won’t truly be strong.
That is why, every few weeks or so I dial it back and work on building my stability (or depending on my routine, it may even be added in when I’m lifting heavy!).
To dial back my deadlift, I like to use the Warrior III yoga pose to develop stability and work on my balance. (It is actually one of many yoga poses I love to use.)
The Warrior III pose is a great way to work on balance, core strength and activate the glutes. It also can help improve your mobility and the flexibility of your hamstrings and hips.
However, I don’t just hold the Warrior III pose.
Here are the 3 Warrior III variations I love to use to develop stability and balance all while activating my glutes and improving my mobility.
Warrior III Variations:
1. Warrior III Hold – Balance on one leg with the knee slightly bent. Hinge over lifting your back leg toward the wall behind you. Lean your torso over, keeping your back flat and your core tight. Reach your hands overhead in front of you or back behind you. Hold in this position. Do not let your back round or your other foot touch down. Keep your arms in line with your body. You want a nice straight line from the bottom of your lifted heel to the end of your finger tips. Depending on your goal here, you can keep the knee soft and slightly bent or straighten the standing leg as much as you can. Beginners may need to reach back toward their foot instead of out in front of them. Using a wall can also help beginners. Stand with a wall behind you and when you hinge over have the lifted foot lightly touch the wall to help you balance.
2. Warrior III Squat – To do the Warrior III Squat, you will set up in the Warrior III hold. Then keeping that position, you will bend the standing leg as much as possible and then straighten it back out. You will perform a little “squat” with your standing leg. Try to keep the hinged position even as you squat. You can reach your hands behind you, out to the side or even in front of you while you squat. Keep your back flat and as close to parallel to the ground as you can. Do not let the heel of the standing leg come up off the ground as you squat.
3. Warrior III with Squat to Half Moon – Start balancing on your right leg with both hands on the ground and your right knee bent. The left leg should be out straight behind you. Drive it behind you and up toward the ceiling. Then straighten the standing leg and lift your right hand up toward the ceiling. Balance for a second or two, lifting the left leg up toward the ceiling more if possible as you open your hips up. Then return the left hand to the ground and bend the right knee again. Keep the left leg off the ground the entire time. Then lift both hands up and straighten the standing leg as much as possible to come up into Warrior III. You can reach your hands back, out in front of you or to the side…whatever feels best. Hold for a second or two then put the hands back down and bend the right knee again to start the move over. Complete all reps on one side before switching. Move slowly and take a breath or two to balance in each pose. Do not forget the little “squat” in between Half Moon and Warrior III.
All of three of these moves work on developing a better mind-body connection while activating all those little stabilizing muscles that we often forget need to be developed in order to prevent injuries when we lift heavy weights.
Use these Warrior III variations to work on your balance, activate your glutes and develop great core strength!
How do you dial back your workouts and work on stability? What are your favorite yoga poses to use in your strength training routines?