9 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks to Build Strength (No Weights Required)

Smiling relaxed woman doing yoga exercise called Supta Padangusthasana , isolated on white background.

Swap weights and grab a pair of yoga blocks for this easy strengthening routine.
Yoga blocks are typically used as support in yoga poses, but you can also use these versatile devices in place of traditional weights. It’s a fun way to add more stabilizing and core-strengthening effects into your routine!

Spice up your weight training with this gentle strengthening routine. Just grab a pair of yoga blocks and an exercise mat and get ready to tone your entire body.

9 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks to Build Strength

Dead Bug | 10 reps per side

Strengthen your core and increase the stability of your pelvis with this deadbug variation.

  1. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet off the floor. Reach your right arm and leg straight up towards the sky.
  2. Bend your left elbow to 90 degrees and place a yoga block longways between your left elbow and your left thigh.
  3. Keep your left side still and engage your core. Inhale to lower your right arm and leg to hover above the ground. Exhale to lift them both straight back up.
  4. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch sides.

Bird Dog | 10 reps per side

Adding yoga blocks to this classic core exercise helps you to develop your balance, stability, and core strength faster.

  1. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with one block underneath your right hand and another block underneath your left knee.
  2. Reach your left arm straight out in front of you with the palm facing inward and reach your right leg straight back behind you with the foot flexed.
  3. Take an inhale, then exhale to round your spine and bring your left elbow and right knee in towards your chest.
  4. Inhale to reach back out. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch sides.

Elevated Reverse Lunge | 10 reps per side

Placing a yoga block underneath the front foot in this exercise makes the exercise extra effective for targeting the quads, glutes, and core.

  1. Set a block on the floor on the lowest height. Step up onto the block with your right foot. Place your hands on your hips and lift your left knee up towards your chest, balancing on your right leg.
  2. Slowly bend your right knee and step your left foot back to come into a lunge. Bend both knees towards 90 degrees.
  3. On an exhale, press into your right foot and lift your left knee back up into your chest. Repeat for 8-10 reps, then switch legs.

Modified Forearm Plank | 30 sec

Adding a block to this traditional exercise will give your abs an extra burn.

  1. Place your block at the back of your mat on the lowest height. Then, lie on your belly facing the other direction and prop yourself up on your forearms.
  2. Place your toes on top of the block. Then, press into your forearms and lift your legs and torso off the ground to come into a plank position.
  3. Engage your abs and thighs and hold for 20-30 seconds.

Plank Step Ups | 8 reps per side

This plank variation adds an extra shoulder and tricep sculpting effect.

  1. Place your blocks down on the lowest height shoulder-width distance apart.
  2. Come into a high plank position with your hands behind the blocks. Engage your abs.
  3. Place your right hand up on the block in front of it. Then, place your left hand up on the other block.
  4. Then, place your right hand back on the ground behind the block, and then place your left hand back on the ground behind the other block.
  5. Repeat for eight reps, then switch arms, leading with your left hand.

Block Squats | 10 reps

Set a block between your legs to make your inner thighs work a lot harder than in a traditional squat.

  1. Stand up and place a block between your thighs. Line up your ankles under your knees and bring your hands together in front of your chest. Squeeze the block with your thighs.
  2. Inhale to sit your hips back and down, coming into a squat. Continue squeezing the block and keep your shoulders back and down.
  3. Exhale to stand back up and squeeze your glutes at the top. Repeat for 10 reps.

Bridge Hip Squeeze | 30 sec

This variation of the bridge uses a block to strengthen the inner thighs and outer hips even more than the original exercise.

  1. Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, facing forwards.
  2. Place a block longways between your thighs and squeeze the block. Rest your arms down alongside your body.
  3. Inhale to lift your hips up towards the sky to come into a bridge. Continue squeezing the block and draw your lower abs up and in. Hold for 30 seconds.

Block Downward Facing Dog | 30 sec

Using blocks to this classic yoga pose challenges your shoulders, triceps, and the muscles around the ribcage to work harder.

  1. Set the blocks down on the mat on the lowest height, shoulder-width distance apart.
  2. Place your hands down on the blocks and step your feet back to come into a high plank position. Engage your abs and round your shoulders back.
  3. Take a deep breath in, then exhale to pike your hips up towards the sky to come into your downward facing dog. Keep your shoulders slightly forward towards your wrists and continue rolling them back and around. You should feel your shoulders, arms, and the muscles around your ribs working.
  4. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Single Leg Deadlift | 10 reps per side

Standing on the block adds a stabilizing challenge to this exercise.

  1. Place your block on the floor on the lowest height and stand on it with your right foot. Place your hands on your hips. You can rest your right hand on a wall for extra support.
  2. Engage your abs. Inhale as you lift your left leg straight up and back while lowering your chest towards the ground. Keep your back straight and your shoulders back the entire time.
  3. Exhale to lift your chest back up and lower your left leg. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

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