Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been gone for so long. School got super busy and I didn’t want to just leave you with haphazard posts, so I decided to take a break. We’ll jump right in today and continue with the Beginner Yoga series. Today I’m sharing 5 beginner yoga poses for strong arms, plus a freebie! I know you’re here for the yoga, but let me tell you a quick story about my arms.
I played sports in high school, mostly because it was mandatory. I never really thought about my body… except wanting bigger boobs. Don’t judge me. Anyway, fast forward to freshman year in college. I was in the registrar’s office one hot summer day, I don’t remember why. But I do remember the lady who was helping me asking “Do you workout?” I looked at her in surprise cause it was the first time I’d ever been asked a question like that, I told her I hadn’t recently but I used to in high school, then I asked why and she said “You have really nice arms.”
I wish I could post an emoji for how I felt inside. I was young, compliments made me feel good. Ok, lies, it’s not about age. Compliments still make me feel good. But I was just so surprised cause I didn’t know nice arms were a thing! Why did I tell you that story? Well, since I’ve started yoga again, I’ve noticed my arms getting more defined and I love it, I also just felt like telling you that story. Lol.
Today, I’m sharing 5 beginner yoga poses for strong arms. Now, don’t carried away by my story above. I’m not saying these poses will immediately give you nicely cut arms. However! They are great poses for strengthening your arms and other parts of your body. They’re also more poses to add to your arsenal as you develop your own personal practice, along with the beginner yoga poses for flexible hamstrings.
Remember, don’t push all the way to your limit when you first practice each pose. Let your body get used to the sensations and then move deeper with each breath. Listen to your body in each pose, pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong! So do not push past your limits, practice these regularly and you’ll see progress with consistency. Hold each pose for about 3-5 deep breaths to get the full benefits. Well, let’s get to it, shall we?
Yoga Push Up | Chaturanga
How-to: Starting on your hands and knees, inhale and step your legs back to come into a high plank. Check to see that your shoulders are positioned directly above your wrists. On an exhale, slowly lower your body towards the ground, while hugging your elbows in tight towards your body. Your whole body should be in a straight line, and in line with your upper arms. Suck belly in towards your spine to engage your core. To come out, lower yourself slowly onto your mat.
Benefits: Strengthens your arms, core, back and wrists.
Downward Dog | Adho Mukha Svanasana
How-to: Starting from a kneeling position, reach both hands forward on the ground. As you exhale, tuck your toes, press evenly into both hands and lift your hips up towards the ceiling, and back towards the back of your space. Keep your spine elongated by reaching your chest towards your thighs, and focus your gaze between your feet or thighs with a relaxed neck. Your feet should be hip width apart, with your heels reaching towards the floor to stretch those hammies. But it’s ok if they don’t touch the floor! To come out, lower your knees to the ground and relax into child’s pose.
Benefits: Strengthens arms, shoulders and back. Stretches hamstrings, calf muscles, and back muscles.
Side Plank |Vasisthasana
How-to: Starting on your hands and knees, inhale and step your legs back to come into a high plank. Shift your weight onto the edge of your right foot and your right hand, (if balancing is hard for you, get this free pdf for a modification). Open your body to the left, stacking your left foot on your right foot, and right shoulder above the right wrist. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling. If your body is anything like mine and your have a natural curve in your spine, the tendency will be to stick your butt out and create a backbend. Resist it! Tuck your tailbone down towards your heels and engage your core by pulling your belly in towards your spine. Reach your left arm up and energetically towards the ceiling and if comfortable on your neck, look up towards your fingertips. To come out, exhale and lower the extended arm, come back into plank pose and then lower your knees to the ground.
Benefits: Strengthens your arms, shoulder, wrists and core. Aids in improving balance.
Warrior II | Virabhadrasana II
How-to: Begin in mountain pose. Leaning forward slightlty, step your left foot back and turn your toes out 90 degrees. Your body should be facing the side of the room squarely, and the back of your (front) right heel should be in line with the center arch of your (back) left foot. Bend your right knee and sink your body closer to the ground. Extend your arms straight out at shoulder height, and energize them by reaching then away from your body. Turn your head and focus your gaze just past your right fingertips, relax your shoulders down and away from your ears. Tuck your tailbone under, and engage your core by sucking your belly in towards your spine. To come out, exhale and lower your arms, step forward and on an inhale, return to mountain pose.
Benefits: Strengthens your arms, shoulder, core, ankles, thighs and butt. Stretches your hip and groin muscles.
Upward Dog | Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
How-to: Begin by lying face down on your mat. Place your palms on the ground, directly below your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide, hug your elbows in close towards your body and rest your chin on your mat. On an inhale, press down strongly into your palms and the top of your feet and lift your chest, hips and thighs off your mat while straightening your arms. Tuck your tailbone under to prevent putting pressure on your lower back, suck your belly in towards your spine and engage your core. Look straight ahead to prevent any compression in your neck. Roll your shoulder back and down your back while pushing your chest forward. To come out, exhale and slowly lower your body down to the mat and return to lying facedown on your mat.
Benefits: Strengthens arms, shoulders, upper back and core. Stretches your thighs, abs and chest.
There you have it friends, 5 beginner yoga poses for strong arms. Have you tried any of these before? Leave a comment and let me know if you particularly like or dislike any of these poses. Make sure you check back next week. I’ll be continuing the beginner yoga poses series and don’t forget to share this post with your friends. I’m sure someone out there will appreciate you for it. I know I will 🙂