Yoga poses to tone your arms
Showing signs of early onset granny arms? Go from flab to fab with two bottles of water and this yoga sculpt set!
1. Warrior Pumps
Hold a bottle of water or 3lb weight in each hand. From a standing position, step feet out about 31/2 to 4 feet coming into a wide-leg stance with feet parallel. Pivot your right foot forward facing the front the mat. While grounding down firmly through the outside edge of your back foot, begin to bend the right knee stacking it directly over the ankle. Draw the arms to a "T" shape parallel to the floor, gazing over the right middle finger — this is Warrior II. Focus on rotating the right knee towards the pinky toe side of the right foot. Inhale extend arms up to 12 to 14 inches and exhale lower arms back to "T" shape. Repeat 16 to 24 times, then release back to a wide-leg stance and repeat on left side.
This pose sculpts the arms, shoulders and thighs. It also is a great way to connect movement with the breath.
2. Chair Press
From a standing position, step feet hip-width distance apart. Bend knees as though you are sitting down into a chair, keeping torso and top of ribcage lifted. Holding a bottle of water or 3lb weight in each hand, inhale extend arms overhead. Exhale press arms to a cactus shape with elbow inline with shoulders. Inhale press elbows toward each other in front of your chest. Exhale back to cactus arms. Inhale to full arm extension overhead. Repeat 12 to 18 times, then release arms and come to a comfortable standing position.
This set is a great way to tone the biceps, strengthen the legs and build endurance.
3. Wing Lung
From a standing position, step feet out about 31/2 to 4 feet coming into a wide-leg stance with feet parallel. Inhale, pivot your right and left foot forward facing the front the mat. Exhale, rotate the torso to the right, bringing the hips inline with each other. While grounding down firmly through the ball of your back foot, begin to bend the right knee stacking it directly over the ankle. Holding a bottle of water or 3 lb weight in each hand, hinge at the hips releasing torso to the inside edge of right leg. Try not to rest torso on thigh, but use core to hold torso parallel to ground. Inhale reach arms up and back. Exhale release arms down. Repeat 16 to 24 times, then release back to a wide-leg stance and repeat on left side.
This pose targets the triceps and strengthens the core and legs.
4. Plank Pushups
Start by lying on your belly. Draw hands under shoulder keeping elbows hugging in toward ribcage. Tuck toes under pressing balls of feet into the ground. Keeping knees on the ground, inhale press hands down extending arms straight coming into plank position. Exhale, lower shoulders inline with elbows coming into a low plank. Inhale, extend arms straight, exhale lower shoulders inline with elbows. Try not to lower shoulders below elbows to ensure safety in the rotator cuff. Focus on keeping hips inline with shoulders and hugging elbows in toward ribcage during the entire set. You can lift knees for a more challenging variation. Continue for 16 to 24 reps then release into a comfortable position on your belly.
Feeling overwhelmed? Try doing fewer reps in each set, and then repeating the sets once you feel ready. You can always build up to more reps and bigger bottles of water or heavier weights. Flabby arms are a notorious frustration for most women. Stay motivated by doing these exercises daily and you will see progress in only a couple weeks. Support your toned body goals by doing cardio, eating healthy and drinking lots of water.
This pose is a gentle way to strengthen the arms, wrists and spine. It is also a great way to tone the core.
After finishing the sets, come to a neutral position lying on your back in Corpse Pose allowing the body to completely relax. Rest in Corpse Pose for three to five minutes before completing your practice.
More: Visit Ali for more yoga tips here.
Bonus: SheKnows is training for our first half marathon! Add running to this weekly workout and join us in January at the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. Register here.