How To Do Horse Pose


Chloe Freytag demonstrating Horse Pose in a blue tank top and yoga pants

Horse pose is a standing pose that is for beginners and advanced yogis alike. It helps strengthen the muscles in your legs and open up your inner thighs. While many yoga poses focus primarily on the stretching benefits, horse pose focuses on strengthening the muscles in the legs while the stretch is occurring. If you are looking to tone your legs while stretching them out, you should learn how to do horse pose. Of course, you don’t have to use horse pose strictly in a yoga practice; we’ll also show you ideas of how to use this move on its own or in other workouts.

Horse Pose can be static or dynamic. That means that you can hold the pose and experience the deep stretch with isometric strength for static strength training. Dynamic means that you can move the pose up and down—much like you would a squat—and get a different type of strength training and stretch. Both will give you great results; just choose the one you prefer.

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How To Do Horse Pose

  1. From a standing position step feet apart slightly wider than shoulder-distance, toes pointing outward.
  2. As you inhale reach arms overhead wide pressing palms together.
  3. As you exhale bend knees 90 degrees and pull hands to chest sliding your shoulder blades downward.
  4. Keep knees pointed over feet and tailbone tucked under body. Hold 30 seconds and breathe.

Benefits of Horse Pose

Horse is a pose of strength. It is also a pose that teaches you better posture. The alignment of your back is an important part of the pose. When your back is tall, you are able to sink lower and deeper into the stretch. If you round your back you will not feel the inner thighs engage. There are not many exercises that help you tone and stretch your inner thighs so this is another great reason to learn horse pose! Here are more benefits of horse pose:

Strong, Sculpted Legs

If you are looking for strong, sculpted legs then Horse Pose is for you! Like so many lower body exercises, Horse Pose focuses on your quads and glutes. But in addition to that, Horse Pose is also excellent at opening your stance and strengthening your inner thighs. Holding this pose allows you to perform what’s called an “isometric hold.” Isometric holds are defined as a type of strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. Isometric holds help to correct muscle imbalances and activate your core, too!

Improves Posture

Horse Pose challenges you to open and strengthen your hips and legs while keeping your spine long and tall. By learning to pull in your abdominals and use the strength of your core to keep your back tall, you improve your natural ability to have good posture and practice it in your daily life. Good posture helps you avoid injury and common problems like back or neck pain.

Opens Hips and Inner Thighs

Horse Pose originates from yoga so you have to know there is some stretching going on with this! As you strengthen your glutes and legs and improve your posture, the nature of the pose has you open the front of your hips and legs for a more flexible lower body.

What Muscles Does Horse Pose Work?

Horse Pose is a standing position that strengthens your quads, glutes and inner thighs. Holding Horse Pose also stretches your inner thighs and helps improve your posture. By activating your core in this pose, you can also work your abdominals, too.

How Many Calories Does a Horse Pose Burn?

The goal of an isometric exercise like Horse Pose is not to burn calories. However, because it strengthens muscles and we know muscles help burn calories on a daily basis, you are still helping your overall calorie burn. In general, an exercise will burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working.

Incorporating Horse Pose Into Your Workouts

Horse Pose is an amazing pose that you can do every day and get benefits from this exercise all on its own! However, you could also incorporate Horse Pose into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen.

Use Horse Pose In a Yoga Workout

Yoga is not just for stretching your muscles and calming you down but it’s also a total body workout when done properly! Find balance in the yoga poses you choose and incorporate Horse Pose as one of them. Try this:

10-Minute Total Body Yoga

Start in Child’s Pose – 1 minute. Then flow through this series with one breath per move:

Use Horse Pose In Your Leg Workout

Horse Pose strengthens the legs and can be a great addition to your leg workout. No weights needed! Try this bodyweight-only leg workout:

The 10-15-20 Lower Body Workout

Here are 2 more workouts that incorporate Horse Pose into your routine!

Other Exercises Similar to Horse Pose

If you like the work and results you get from the Horse Pose here are some other exercises you might like as well!

(This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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