Tone your arms with yoga

4 best poses for creating upper body strength

The best poses to give you the arms, shoulders, chest and upper back that not only look good in singlets, but make life much easier when it comes to lifting and weight bearing.

Yoga instructor Michelle Jane from Yoga Ground lists the 4 best yoga poses for creating upper body strength.
Downward Facing Dog
Michelle says the old faithful downward facing dog, when learnt effectively, can make huge changes in your upper body strength. The aim is to make a triangle shape with your body. Start on your hands and knees with your arms in a straight line and your knees directly under your hips. Push up until you’re in a triangle shape, weight on your hands and balls of feet and lengthen your tailbone into the air. Make sure you’re engaging the arms and shoulders. Spread your hands and fingers wide. It’s an excellent total body strengthening and stretching exercise.
Plank looks simple enough, but wow, hold this posture long enough and you’ll soon feel your arms and chest working hard to support your body. From your downward facing dog position, draw your torso forward until your shoulders and directly over your wrists. It’s the same position you’d take if you were about to head into a push-up. Make sure your bottom doesn’t gradually drop – the aim is to stay in one straight line.
Come into plank pose and slowly lower yourself down, ensuring the shoulders remain away from the ears and that you remain in a straight line. As you bend at the elbows, keep your arms by your side. It will do incredible things for your triceps. It also strengthens and tones your wrists, arms, abdominals and lower back. Come to your knees if this posture is too strong for you.
Come onto all fours. Press your palms together and your forearms to the floor. Exhale and lift your body away from the floor, leaving your forearms on the floor. Keep the body in a triangle shape, much like the downward facing dog. Hold your head between the upper arms and don’t let it hang or drop to the floor. Dolphin pose improves your posture and strengthens your arms and back.
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Photocredit: Photolibrary

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