When it comes to building upper body strength, many people think they have to spend hours in the gym using weights and other equipment. If you’re one of these people – think again! Using your own body weight as resistance, yoga is one of the best ways to achieve sculpted arms. Better still, you can practice in the comfort of your own home! Below, we explore the best yoga routine for arm strength. Before beginning, it’s worth getting your hands on a breathable yoga top. Not only will this allow more freedom during each asana, but it will also help to build muscle strength by allowing the body to oxygenate sufficiently.
Ideal for those looking to build strength in their upper arms, Dolphin Pose works to engage all the relevant muscles. To practice the pose, begin on all fours. Ensuring your knees are set directly beneath your hips, bring your forearms down to the floor with your shoulders above your hands. Once in position, touch your palms together whilst keeping your forearms on the floor.
Next, curl your toes under and gently lift your knees away from the ground. Begin to lengthen your tailbone and lift your bottom towards the ceiling. Your body should now form an upside-down ‘V’ shape. At this stage, beginners may find it easier to keep their knees slightly bent. Keeping your forearms pressed firmly into the floor, engage your shoulder blades by drawing them towards your back. It’s important to not let your head hang aimlessly when in this position; instead, support it between your upper arms. You are now in Dolphin Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before bringing your knees back down to the floor.
For those looking to take Dolphin Pose that step further, Dolphin Plank Pose is a great place to start. Being the asana in basic Dolphin Pose, ensuring that your knees are slightly bent. Next, walk your feet back until your stomach is parallel to the floor. When you are in the correct position, your shoulders should sit directly above your elbows.
Press your forearms firmly on the floor. Next, draw your shoulder blades towards your back and spread them away from your spine. Keeping your muscles engaged, gently draw your tailbone towards the floor. Look straight down towards the floor to keep your neck aligned with your spine. You are in Dolphin Plank Pose. Hold the posture for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
Using the arms to support your entire body weight, Firefly Pose is one of the most effective asanas for improving arm strength. Keeping your feet shoulder distance apart, slowly move into a squatting position. Next, tip your pelvis forward and bring your torso between your legs. Making sure that your upper body is kept low, straighten your legs until you can lift your pelvis to knee height. Next, move your left shoulder and upper arm underneath the back of your left thigh; when this stage is complete, your arm should be resting just above your knee. Gently place your left hand next to the outside edge of your foot before repeating this process on the other side.
Using your core muscles, carefully lift yourself off the floor. Press your hands into the ground as you begin to tilt your weight off your feet and onto your hands, instead. Next, extend your legs out to the sides, keeping them as straight as possible. Inhale as you do so, making sure that your pelvis is kept high. Your legs should now be parallel to the floor. Gently pull your toes back toward your upper body and spread your feet apart. Keep the outer edges of your feet angled slightly back, while the inner edges remain angled forward.
Finally, straighten both arms and widen your shoulder blades. Doing so should lift your upper body higher as your back begins to round. You are in Firefly Pose. Hold the pose for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
While this posture is a little more complex, King Pigeon Pose is great for experienced practitioners looking strengthen their arms. Best described as a deep backbend, this asana works to stretch the spine whilst engaging both the arm and abdominal muscles.
To begin, kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Your shoulders, hips, and head should all be directly above your knees. Reach your hands behind you and place them on your lower back. Without pushing your hips forward, bring your chin toward your chest and begin to lean your head and shoulders back. With your shoulder blades back, lift your chest toward the ceiling. Once your chest is lifted, continue to tilt your head backwards.
Bring your hands forward in front of your sternum. Next, reach them over your head toward the floor. To maintain balance, bring your hips forward as your upper body reaches back. As you drop back, try to keep your thighs at a 90-degree angle from the floor. Gently rest your palms on the floor, ensuring that your fingers are pointing at your feet.
Using the strength of your arms, raise your head off the floor and lift your hips. As you do so, extend your spine and carefully walk your hands to your feet. Bring your forearms toward the floor and hold your an-kles. Rest your elbows on the floor, positioning them so they are shoulder-width apart. Gently lengthen your neck and rest your forehead on the ground. As you inhale, expand your chest. When exhaling, press your lower-legs and forearms against the ground. You are in King Pigeon Pose. Hold the pose for 30 se-conds, remembering to breathe deeply.
Whether you’re hoping to sculpt your upper arms for an important event or you’re more interested in building overall strength, practice the above postures regularly to enjoy stronger, firmer, and more toned arms. To avoid the risk of injury, it’s important to pick up a comfortable yoga mat before getting started with your new routine.