How To Do Warrior 1

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Warrior 1 in a blue tank top and yoga pants

Warrior 1 is a standing pose that opens the hips and strengthens your legs. Warrior pose also promotes good posture and spinal alignment along with core strength. Warrior 1 extends the arms overhead and promotes strong shoulders. If you are looking for overall body strength and flexibility, you should learn how to do Warrior 1.

The Warrior Poses are a staple in yoga. At first it seems odd to name yoga poses after fighters since yogi’s are seen as passive and peaceful. However, these poses are meant to acknowledge a “spiritual warrior” or one who is fighting against the evil inside ourselves. Think of it as you fight to maintain a position when it becomes uncomfortable or become a warrior when your leg starts to shake because the muscle is so tired. The Warrior 1 pose shows strength and power in a positive way, all the while stretching the hips and opening the chest and shoulders. The pose is designed to lift you up and keep your energy rising toward the fingertips. In order for this to be done properly, a good amount of core strength must be used in addition to the strength of the lower body.

Warrior 1 might seem like an easy pose at first, but keeping the back foot pressed into the floor at an angle wile trying to keep your hips facing forward can be a very deep stretch and, at times, uncomfortable. Be sure to breathe and coax the hips forward one breath at a time.

Use the links below to quickly navigate this guide:

How To Do Warrior 1

Here are the steps to performing Warrior 1:

1) From a standing position, step your left foot to the back of your mat and lower the inside of your foot so that your back foot is at an angle.

2) Bend your right knee 90 degrees and straighten your back leg.

3) Reach arms overhead and keep torso facing the front.

4) Relax shoulders and breathe gently in and out. Hold 30 seconds and switch sides.

What Muscles Does Warrior 1 Work?

Warrior 1 is a standing yoga pose that opens the front of the hips and strengthens your legs. Warrior 1 also strengthens your lower body and core while promoting good posture and spinal alignment.

Benefits of Warrior 1

There are many reasons you should incorporate warrior 1 into your workouts. Here are just a few:

Stretches and Opens The Front of The Hips

Warrior 1 stretches the muscles in your groin and hips flexors area as well as the lower leg and ankle. Rotating your hips forward as you press your leg back at an angle creates a long stretch along the muscles and connective tissues that surround your entire hip and lower back. If you learn how to do warrior 1, you learn a great hip stretch!

Stronger Legs

Warrior 1 is a pose that strengthens your thighs, hips and butt while also working your stabilizers to keep you balanced and aligned. This is an isometric exercise, meaning your hold still. However, even though you don’t move, you can feel your muscles engage and work to get stronger. The longer you hold warrior 1, the more your legs will shake!

Opens The Front of The Body

Warrior 1 is an excellent way to open the front of the torso, chest and shoulders. Reaching the arms overhead not only strengthens arm muscles but also stretches the chest and front of the shoulders.

How Many Calories Does Warrior 1 Burn?

People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at higher intensity. Bottom line – the harder you work, the more calories you burn. The benefits of warrior 1 are not really reflected in the calorie burn, however, a good yoga practice can be a great way to include warrior 1 and still burn the calories desired.

Other Exercises Similar to Warrior 1

If you like the warrior 1 and the results you get from it, here are a few more exercises you might want to try.

How To Do Crescent Lunge

How To Do Warrior 2

How To Do Extended Side Angle

Incorporating Warrior 1 Into Your Workouts

Warrior 1 is a great pose to practice any time on its own. However, you could also incorporate warrior 1 into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen.

Use Warrior 1 In a Post-Workout Stretch

It only takes a few good stretches after a tough workout to get you opened up, release your muscles and prepare you to move again in the future. Warrior 1 is a perfect pose to include in your next stretch routine like this one:

Stretch It Out! Hold each of the following stretches for at least 30 seconds, but up to 60 seconds if you can. Continue to relax and breathe as you hold.

Downward Dog– Open up the entire backside of your body with downward dog pose. Hold for 60 seconds if you can.

Warrior 1 – (Right leg front.) Hold 30 seconds then move to warrior 2.

Warrior 2 – (Right leg front.) Hold 30 seconds then move to extended side angle.

Extended Side Angle – (Right leg front)

Repeat all of these but do the warrior poses with left leg in front.

Lord of Half Fishes – Time for a piriformis and outer hip stretch? This one does the trick. Hold for at least 30 seconds per side.

Butterfly Pose– Hip flexors and groin beware! You are about to be stretched. Big time! Hold at least 60 seconds and keep good posture as you breathe.

Bridge with Chest Expansion– Finish with a stretch for the chest, front of the shoulders, hips and entire body!

Use Warrior 1 In Your Yoga Practice

Yoga is a fantastic workout not only for your flexibility, but also for your overall strength and stability. Incorporating the warrior 1 into your yoga practice opens the front of the hips and strengthens the legs. Try this short, at-home yoga series designed to strengthen your legs:

Yoga For Leg Strength

Cat-Cow- (5 repetitions for warm-up)

Downward Dog – Plank – ChaturangaUpward Dog – (repeat series 5 times)

Warrior 1 Right – Warrior 2 – Reverse Warrior – Warrior 3

Downward Dog – Plank – Chaturanga – Upward Dog –Downward Dog

Warrior 1 Left – Warrior 2 – Reverse Warrior – Warrior 3

Downward Dog – Plank – Chaturanga – Upward Dog –Downward Dog

Chair Pose– Hold 1 minute

Eagle Pose – Hold 1 minute per side

Pigeon Pose – Hold 30 seconds per side.

Child’s Pose – Hold as long as you like.

Use Warrior 1 In a De-Stress Yoga Practice

Yoga is known for improving flexibility and adding strength, but it is also well-known for releasing stress. Holding poses and focusing on your breath is an effective way to bring your heart rate and blood pressure down and allow you to relax. Try warrior 1 in this yoga de-stress practice.

Yoga To De-Stress: The key to effectiveness in this practice is to hold each pose for at LEAST 5 slow, deep breaths. In addition, practice keeping your attention focused on your breathing and your body. Do your best to keep your mind from wandering back to your busy life.

Hold each of the following poses for at least 5 slow breaths, then transition directly to the next pose.


















Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate warrior 1:

12 Yoga Poses To Reduce Back Pain

Your Perfect Morning and Night Time Yoga Routines

Prenatal Yoga Flow Workout

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