While more men are practicing yoga today, there’re a few men who still consider yoga “ glorified stretching” –to them, yoga has no cardio or strength involved. Such men hesitate walking into a gym class because they either believe they won’t benefit much from it or they simply don’t really understand what yoga is. Still, I have heard a few who consider yoga as a girls’ thing. 

In reality, yoga is actually a quite a strenuous physical activity –and any man will definitely find a number of benefits from practicing yoga. So, if you ever thought that yoga is a girls’ thing or doesn’t have sufficient physical impact, you’re mistaken. 

More specifically, today we will be looking at some of the best yoga poses for men for increasing flexibility. As you may already know, flexibility comes with numerous health benefits such as healing pains and aches, helping with balance, and injury prevention. Additionally, stretching your muscles can help you relieve tension and stress, which cause a wide range of health issues including weight gain. 

In this article, we’re going to share 11 men-friendly yoga poses that will help you boost your flexibility. But before then, you should understand that the goal of yoga, unlike most other athletic practices, isn’t to perform “perfect” poses –it’s all about really experiencing that stretch as well as performing deep breaths to allow your mind and body to get rejuvenated and balanced after the session. 

Lastly, before you get started, remember to perform some basic stretches and cardio workouts to warm up your body. And if you feel any unusual pain while at it, back off and take it slow. Yoga stretches should feel like relaxing and healing stretches –not painful. 

Ok, let’s get started, shall we? 

1. Easy Pose

I thought we should start on an easy note. So as the name suggests, this is an easy pose meant to open your hips and stretch your glutes, ankles, and knees. Generally, if you happen to lean forward, you will also be giving your back a stretch. 

How to: Start by sitting in a crossed legs position. Your feet should be under your knees. Place your palms to your thighs or knees and breathe deeply. The closer to the ground your knees are, the tighter the stretch. 

2. Standing-forward fold

The yoga pose works your lower back as well as your hamstrings. This is another good pose to do when you start your yoga session –do it for at least 30 seconds and at most 3 minutes. 

How to: Position your feet shoulder-wide apart and slightly bend your knees go gain a firm foundation. Lower your body slowly forward, allowing the arms to settle on the floor. As you become more flexible, you will be easily able to straighten the legs –but always start easy. Don’t stand up too quickly as you may experience dizziness. 

3. Downward dog

This pose strengthens your arms and shoulders while also stretching your calves, Achilles tendons, and hamstrings. We recommend that you hold this position for up to 2 minutes. At first, holding for 30 seconds may feel like forever, but you will eventually build the strength. 

How to: this position essentially requires your body to assume an upside-down V. Position the feet and arms firmly on the ground, your body forming a triangle. Slightly bent your knees if your hamstrings or shoulders are tight. Lower your head down between your arms, spread your fingers and move the shoulders away from the ears. Extend and relax your tailbone back and up, and breathe. 

4. Child’s pose

This is considered a relaxing, resting pose, but it also effectively stretches the lower back shoulders, ankles, quads, shins and the top of your feet. Pose for about 2 minutes and you will gently open your hips, groin, and thighs. 

How to: starting on your knees and hands, spread your knees while keeping your large toes together. Move your hips and butt back to your heels while allowing your torso to comfortable rest on the thighs. If you want a more relaxed pose, keep your hands to the sides –but stretching them forward will give your shoulders a nice stretch. Any option is great, as long as your knees don’t’ feel a pain when you straight. 

5. Reverse Triangle Pose

The reverse triangle is an effective pose which works more than just your hamstrings. The pose opens your chest and shoulders as well as stretching your calf. 

How to: Start with your feet hip-width on the ground with arms extended to the sides. Rotate your right foot inwards and your left foot slightly outward at about 90-degree angle. Align both your heels. Extend your torso out gently over your left leg. Next, rotate to the left, with your right hand walking on your ankle or shin. 

If you’re feeling a little more flexible, rotate further to left until you’re able to look behind. Do the same with the opposite arm, rotating your torso to the right. Pose for approximately 30 seconds, ensuring that your heels stay on the ground. 

6. Cobbler Pose

The pose is excellent for opening up your inner thighs and hips. This will help you improve mobility during workouts such as lateral and reverse lunges. 

How to: start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent outwards on the sides and your soles touching each other. Hold your feet and pull them inwards until you experience a slight stretch in your inner thighs and hips. You can try to lean forward if you need a deeper stretch –hold for about 30 seconds. 

Here is a youtube video demostrating how to perform the pose.


7. Butterfly Pose

The pose is favourite to many intermediate yoga enthusiasts. It stretches your adductors, groin and inner thighs. These areas need some tender stretching and loving, after all, they’re some of the tightest areas on your body. 


How it’s done: sit on the ground with your knees bent and allow your feet soles to touch each other. It’s likely that your knees will drop to the sides unless you’re quite inflexible, then they will be a distance off the ground, and that’s ok. You can hold your ankles and push the knees gently down using your elbows if you want that extra deep stretch. Move slowly and remember to breathe. 

8. Crescent Pose

This pose is one of my favourites –it stretches and strengthens all at once. You will be able to strengthen your legs while stretching your hips. The pose has also been shown to increase balance and focus. 

How to: start with a Down Dog position and step your left foot up and forward. You will essentially be assuming a runner’s lunge position, more like an athlete when starting on the track. Keep some distance in between your feet so as to maintain balance. Lift yourself up to stand while still in the lunge position. Raise both your arms to the sky with palms inwards and shoulders relaxed. Gaze at a fixed position, breathe and hold the pose for about 45 seconds. 

Here is a youtube video demostrating how to perform the pose.


9.  Pyramid Pose

The pose will do good to stretch your back and hamstrings as well as your shin and feet muscles. 

How to: if you’re coming from a crescent yoga pose, straighten your forward feet and adjust the stance between the feet to roughly 2 feet apart. Keep feet on the floors, your toes facing forward. Lean forward and press your forehead into your left knee. Breathe deep and hold for about 4-6 breaths. Repeat this with the other side.

Here is a youtube video demostrating the pose.

10. Camel Pose

Well, this a little advanced, which is why I put it down here on the list. This pose not only opens your chest but also stretches your hips, torso, and shoulders. 

How it’s done: Start on your knees on the floor, about a foot apart. Place your palms on your buttocks or lower back to support yourself, then start leaning backward. You can either stay here or continue further down, ensuring that your chest in listed up. Hold this position for about 30 secs always making sure that your neck and chest are lifted to avoid hurting your lower back. 

11. Spinal Twist

If you’re looking to enhance your lateral flexibility then the spinal twist is one of the best yoga poses for men you should give a chance. This stretches your spine, shoulders, and neck. Don’t push so hard though, because the spine is never the target –your back is. 

How to: Start by lying on the back and bring your left knee towards your chest. Take two deep breathes and roll over into your right hip. You can turn your head right if your neck is fine with it. From here, will essentially be gently twisting your upper body from left to right with deep breathes in between. 

Here is a youtube video demostrating the pose.

Bottom line

As earlier mentioned, always do some warm up before you start your yoga sessions. If you want to have peace of mind and flexibility throughout the day, consider doing your yoga poses in the morning. You don’t have to do all the 11 poses, but if you’re relatively new to yoga, at least start from the top.

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Sajal Mahato

I am a fitness enthusiastic who believes “Health is the number one asset to an individual” and that “It should be the number one priority in life”. Gone through the journey of being super fit & healthy (sports fanatics during teen years) to sick & unfit (late 20’s and 30’s) to fit & healthy again (wise men say life starts at 40 ☺). Understands why things go to custard and what it takes to get back on track again.
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