7 YOGA MOVES FOR STRONG, GORGEOUS ARMS
We tapped yoga expert Alexandria Crow to develop a quick yoga sequence that targets the upper body—and she delivered, big time. This effective flow will fine-tune your alignment while strengthen and toning your arms, shoulders and back. You’ll also engage the muscles of your core (because we know just how amazing yoga is for your abs).
You don’t need any equipment, just your yoga mat or towel, making this routine perfect for when you’re in your apartment, the basement or even a hotel room. So give these seven poses a try and you’ll walk away feeling more balanced and confident, and with a strong upper body.
Start on all fours. Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width
apart under your shoulders anchor your hands evenly. Straighten your knees and lift yourself into the top of a push-up position with feet hip-distance apart. Squeeze your inner thighs towards one another and side hips in towards the midline. Press the floor away from you with your hands, think about the entire front of your body pressing up to the ceiling so there’s a sense of upward lift away from the floor. Hold for at least 10 breaths. Then move into five slow downward facing dogs.
Starting in plank, move your shoulders forward so they’re now over top of your finger tips, remaining stable throughout your body. Slowly and with control, exhale bend your elbows a few degrees, making sure to aim them directly back, and then inhale as you push back up and straighten your elbows. Repeat 5 times, then rest for a few breaths and repeat for one more set.
SALABHASANA OR LOCUST POSE
Lay on your belly. Place your feet hips-distance apart with the tops of your feet on the floor, arms along side your body with straight elbows, palms and biceps facing down. Press your feet into the floor, inhale and lift your chest and arms up away from the floor. Put all the effort into using your upper back muscles and the backs of your arms to lift up. Lift up for a couple of breaths and then lower down and rest for a couple cycles of breath. Repeat 5 times.
From Locust, move your hands backwards so that they’re along side your waist, stacked under your elbows. As you inhale, lift your chest away from the floor and let your neck follow your upper back’s curve. Exhale and lower yourself back down. Repeat 5 times.
Press up to all fours. Interlace your fingers and set your forearms on the floor, elbows underneath your shoulders. Turn your biceps forward and anchor the length of your forearm down evenly. Walk your feet back so that you’re in a push-up position on your forearms. Hold for 10 slow breaths.
Spin around and sit with your legs together, stretched out straight in front of you. Place your hands behind you, fingertips facing feet and hands anchored evenly to the mat. Keep your knees straight, and then inhale, lifting your pelvis away from the floor. Draw your tailbone to your heels and put most of the effort into arching your upper back. Hold for 5 breaths, then rest and repeat one more time.
Starting in the same position as reverse plank. Exhale and bend your elbows a little bit and then inhale and straighten them. Keep your chest lifted and wide. If you want a little more intensity, lift yourself into the reverse plank position, bending and straightening your elbows slightly while holding that position. Be sure elbows track close to the body and point directly back.