Can You Get Ripped Just Doing Yoga?

When we normally think about getting ripped, we picture lifting weights and extreme cardio, but can you get ripped with yoga?

The short answer is YES! You can get ripped with yoga if you opt for a fast-paced, high-energy yoga style like Vinyasa yoga. A combination of yoga and good nutrition can definitely get you ripped.

Yoga is too often associated with being feminine, but the truth is that yoga is for both men and women.

So whether you’re a guy or a girl and want to get ripped, here’s how you can use yoga to that end.

How to get ripped and build muscle

No matter what exercise routine you follow, there are two universal truths to getting ripped and building muscle:

Eating well and working out.

Going into a caloric deficit to burn fat

Going into a caloric deficit is the only way to burn fat. A caloric deficit is when you eat less calories every day than what you use up.

Let’s break this down. If your goal is to lose weight, then you MUST eat fewer calories than you burn.

In order to accomplish this goal, the best thing to do is create a caloric deficit by eating less food and doing more cardio or high intensity interval training (HIIT).

These types of exercises can help to burn fat, but they won’t do it alone. For weight loss (and weight gain), one pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories; if you were to lose 1 lb in a week, you’d need to eat 500 fewer calories per day than your maintenance intake, or your daily caloric expenditure.

Working out

Working out to burn more calories is the best way to make sure you’re in a caloric deficit. If your goal is to lose 1lb per week, then you should aim for at least 500 extra calories burned through exercise each day.

You don’t have to kill yourself working out every single day – even adding an hour of cardio and strength training just twice a week can produce positive results!

The more you work out, the more calories you burn. In order to build new muscle, your body must use energy(calories).

As you lose fat, your muscles will slowly begin to show. To get that ripped look, your muscles need to be well defined, and the way to get that definition is through working out!

So exercising has the dual benefit of burning calories and building muscle together.

This doesn’t mean that if you workout everyday and fast you’ll lose weight and get ripped at an astonishing rate; in fact what many people who try this method do it mess up their metabolism or “overtrain”.

Overtraining is when someone exercises too much, for example working out 6 days per week is considered overtraining. Eventually, this will lead to an injury or can increase cortisol levels. Workout every other day at the most!

How Is Yoga more effective than weight training at building muscle?

More Intensity

Yoga increases your flexibility, which enables you to move through your full range of motion during weight training. This produces better results than weight training alone, since your muscles will receive more stimulation in the positions that they are put under tension.

What this means is that both Yoga and weight training combined can stimulate 30-40% more muscle fibers than weight training alone. 

This is why bodybuilders who focus solely on pumping iron don’t look as fit as gymnasts or dancers. 

Muscular Endurance

Yoga strengthens muscles in every direction possible, which increases muscular endurance so you can work out with weights longer without getting tired.

A study by Wayne State University found that after doing Yoga for 8 weeks, their subjects were able to do 26 push ups (on average). After 4 months of weight training, their subjects were only able to do 15 push ups, which is almost half the results in half the time.

Injury Prevention

Yoga strengthens and develops your stabilizing muscles (abs and lower back), preventing injury by building a strong foundation like a house on a strong foundation.

Weight Training can produce imbalance in your muscles when you work out one group more than another.

This usually results in injury due to fatigue or overstraining of one muscle or tendon once you start exercising other groups because they are weaker and not as developed.

So if for example you avoid Yoga like many people do and focus solely on weight training for building muscle and strength, then when you return back to Yoga after being away from it for some time, you will have a very hard time holding the positions and performing the asanas correctly.

Freedom to Create Your Own Workout

In Yoga, your workout is never fixed or known in advance. You perform Yogasanas that best suit your body type and current level of strength and flexibility.

Some asanas strengthen certain muscles groups more than others so over time they help build muscle mass in those areas i.e. shoulders, arms, upper back etc. This means that your workout is personalized according to what you need most at any given moment.

On the other hand if you only weight train with a set number of reps for a given number of sets across a range of different machines and exercises , which makes no allowance for your individual needs.


A Yoga session can be as short as 15 to 20 minutes, which means you get the benefits of strength training and flexibility training in much less time than weight training.

Since time is an issue for many people these days, this may be one reason why more people are turning to Yoga instead of or in addition to traditional weight training.

Vinsaya Yoga Is A Great Workout

Vinsaya Yoga is a great workout and the most basic of movements performed in it include:

Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

These are one cycle of Vinsaya Yoga. The entire series consist of twelve cycles and each cycle requires ten minutes to complete. However, one can skip certain poses in his or her own discretion in order to keep the under control.

While performing the pose, one has to keep the body straight and erect without arching or bending. While inhaling breath one has to raise the hands upwards and while exhaling breath one has to bring them back down.

There are four phases in each pose:

  1. Starting Position (Samasthiti): In this phase, both feet remain close together; arms are down by the sides with palms facing forward; head and spine are aligned; eyes focus on a fixed point below at eye level; shoulders remain relaxed.
  2. Breathing Phase (Pranayama): This is when poses change and grow stronger as you push through your exhalation into a deeper stretch of the pose. For example, you move from Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) to Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend). You inhale in Uttanasana, exhale into Ardha Uttanasana.
  3. Holding Phase (Baddha Konasana): This is when your breath becomes shallow and you hold the pose for several breaths (four counts in the case of Sun Salutation A), concentrating on maintaining core strength, stability, and length in muscles.
  4. Relaxation Phase (Savasana): Return to Samasthiti in this phase. It’s important because it gives your body time to unwind before you move on to the next pose.

These flowing movements keep your body in constant motion as you do Vinyasa yoga, so it’s a great way to get an excellent workout and burn a lot of calories in the process.



As you can see, there are many benefits to doing yoga. In addition to being a great form of exercise that will help with your muscle tone and flexibility, it’s also been shown to have some mental health benefits as well.

One study suggests that people who practice yoga for 20 minutes a day had less stress than those who did not do any type of physical activity at all!

So go ahead and give this ancient Eastern form of exercising a try-you may find yourself getting ripped in no time at all.