How to Build Strength with a Yoga Mat

June 25, 2024

A yoga mat is one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment you can own. While it’s primarily used for yoga, a yoga mat can also be a powerful tool for strength training exercises that enhance your overall fitness. In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can use a yoga mat to build strength, the benefits of doing so, and provide tips on incorporating these exercises into your routine, with the help of the HipTrain app.

Benefits of Using a Yoga Mat for Strength Training

  1. Comfort and Support
    A yoga mat provides a cushioned surface that protects your joints during strength training exercises. This is especially important for exercises that involve kneeling or lying down.
  2. Stability and Balance
    The non-slip surface of a yoga mat helps maintain stability and balance during workouts. This ensures that you can perform exercises with proper form, reducing the risk of injury.
  3. Versatility
    A yoga mat can be used for a wide range of strength training exercises, from bodyweight movements to resistance band exercises. It serves as a convenient and portable workout space.
  4. Improved Core Strength
    Many exercises performed on a yoga mat engage the core muscles, helping to build strength and stability in the midsection. This is beneficial for overall fitness and functional strength.

Effective Strength Training Exercises with a Yoga Mat

  1. Plank Variations
    Planks are excellent for building core strength and stability. Variations such as side planks, forearm planks, and plank shoulder taps can be performed on a yoga mat for added comfort and support.
  2. How to Perform:
    • Forearm Plank: Lie face down on the mat, then lift your body onto your forearms and toes, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold the position.
    • Side Plank: Lie on one side and lift your body onto one forearm and the side of your foot. Keep your body straight and hold the position.
  3. Push-Ups
    Push-ups are a fundamental strength exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Using a yoga mat provides cushioning for your hands and knees.
  4. How to Perform:
    • Start in a high plank position with your hands on the mat, shoulder-width apart.
    • Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the mat.
    • Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Mountain Climbers
    Mountain climbers are a dynamic exercise that builds strength and cardiovascular endurance. Performing them on a yoga mat adds comfort and stability.
  6. How to Perform:
    • Start in a high plank position.
    • Bring one knee towards your chest, then switch legs quickly as if running in place.
  7. Glute Bridges
    Glute bridges are great for strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. A yoga mat provides a comfortable surface for your back and shoulders.
  8. How to Perform:
    • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat.
    • Lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top.
    • Lower your hips back down and repeat.
  9. Leg Raises
    Leg raises target the lower abdominal muscles. Using a yoga mat provides cushioning for your back and tailbone.
  10. How to Perform:
    • Lie on your back with your legs straight.
    • Lift your legs towards the ceiling, keeping them straight.
    • Lower your legs back down without touching the mat.

Tips for Effective Strength Training with a Yoga Mat

  1. Focus on Form
    Proper form is crucial to prevent injuries and maximize the effectiveness of your exercises. Use the HipTrain app for guidance on performing each exercise correctly.
  2. Start with Bodyweight
    Begin with bodyweight exercises to build a foundation of strength before adding additional resistance like dumbbells or resistance bands.
  3. Incorporate Variety
    Mix different exercises to target various muscle groups and keep your workouts interesting. The HipTrain app offers a variety of strength training routines to keep you motivated.
  4. Stay Consistent
    Consistency is key to seeing progress. Aim to incorporate strength training exercises into your routine at least 2-3 times per week.
  5. Listen to Your Body
    Pay attention to how your body feels during and after workouts. If you experience pain or discomfort, adjust the intensity or take a rest day.


Using a yoga mat for strength training exercises is an effective way to build muscle, improve stability, and enhance overall fitness. Incorporating exercises like planks, push-ups, mountain climbers, glute bridges, and leg raises into your routine can yield significant benefits. For personalized workout plans and expert guidance, consider using the HipTrain app to optimize your strength training regimen.

For more tips and information on home fitness, visit HipTrain and start building strength with your yoga mat today.