Yoga for Your Arms

We may be approaching the season where many parts of the country are plunged into icy, wintry weather and most of us are trying to find more layers to put on rather than show off our tanned arms from summer, but it’s never too late or early to focus on getting your arms toned. A great way to add some strength and tone to your arms without getting them too bulky is through yoga. There are many poses you can do that help build up your strength.

I know arms for me are something I forget about often just because I’m not required to do a lot of heavy lifting in my daily life, but it is important to build strength over your whole body and having awesome, toned arms doesn’t hurt either!

1. Chaturanga

Chaturanga is probably one of the best poses or movements for building up arm strength. If you do a few of these in a yoga sequence your arms will be burning!

  1. To perform, start in either downward dog and move into a plank pose.
  2. From there, shift your body forward a little to make sure your shoulders are directly over your hands and bend your elbows like you’re doing a push-up.
  3. If you’d like, you can do chaturanga push-ups and repeat that movement several times, or hold the pose then move into cobra or upward facing dog.

2. Inclined Plane Pose

Inclined Plane Pose is another great pose for building up your arm muscles, and also areas of your core. It’s sort of like a backwards plank.

  1. To perform, start sitting on your mat with your hands at your hips and your feet out in staff pose.
  2. You’re going to straighten your arms and push your body upwards.
  3. You should be making a diagonal line with your body.
  4. Allow your head to fall back slightly and hold the pose for several breaths.

3. Downward Facing Dog

When done correctly downward facing dog helps you to develop upper arm strength.

  1. To perform, begin in tabletop position.
  2. Tuck your toes under and lift your hips up in the air.
  3. To engage your arms, make sure you are pressing into all four corners of your hands.
  4. Rotate your arms outward to help take pressure off of your wrists.

4. Cobra Pose

Cobra pose tones your shoulders in addition to increasing flexibility in your spine. It also helps to reduce stress and fatigue. To perform, start by lying on your stomach with your palms pressed into the ground next to your shoulders. Press upwards with your arms and raise your torso. There are two variations, a low cobra and just a cobra pose. In low cobra your elbows are still bent.

These four poses are great for building up your arm strength without getting too bulky. Working on poses that build up your arm strength will help build your endurance and help you to hold poses longer. It’s important to get variety into your workouts so make sure to vary things up and work your whole body so even if you want to focus on your arms, give them a break and work on the rest of your body.

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