Women often forget about targeting their shoulders when it comes to working out. The first sign of a worked-out body are toned arms as those tank-top ready limbs are not coincidental.
You need to take a two-pronged approach to achieve toned arms. You need to activate the muscles with strength training and do cardio to lower your body fat. And in this endeavour, yoga can help.
Yoga will help you work the full capacity of your arms. Almost every yoga pose where you are lifting or keeping your body off the floor strengthens and shapes your arms, shoulders and back for a lean, strong and sculpted look.
Here are five yoga poses that will help you get toned arms that you can flaunt with pride:
1. Chaturanga dandasana or plank pose
Start with balasana (child’s pose) with your arms extended forward.
Lift your hips up so that your shoulders come in a straight line with your palms, and knees are placed below the pelvic bone.
Look down while ensuring that the back of your neck and head are parallel to the ground.
Make sure that your shoulders are pushed away from your ears and your tailbone is tucked in with the contraction of abdominal muscles.
Now without changing the position of your upper body, stretch your right leg back and then the left by tucking in your toes.
Your body should be in a straight line starting from the shoulders till your heels.
To challenge your body strength more start bending your arms at the elbows keeping your body in a straight line. The trick is to push the body weight slightly forward and turn your elbows closer towards your torso.
Your body should be two inches above the floor. Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds with normal breathing.
2. Adho mukha svanasana or downward facing dog
Keep an idea of your risk of weight-related issues.
Lie down in balasana with your arms extended forward.
Lift your hips up in a tabletop position. Turn your toes in to straighten your legs.
Try to lower your heels so that the soles of the feet are completely placed on the mat.
At the same time stretch your arms straight, push your chest out, and relax the head and shoulders.
Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds with normal breathing.
3. Bakasana or crow pose
Sit in malasana (garland pose).
Maintain the contact between the knees and the triceps and open up your palms.
Place your palms right in front of you on the mat by balancing on your toes. Your elbows should be bent to support your knees on the triceps.
Push your shoulders away from your ears, lift the head up and use core strength to lift the toes up.
Balance the pose for at least 10 seconds with normal breathing.
4. Ardha-pincha mayurasana or dolphin pose
Come in ardha mukha svanasana or downward facing dog
Bend your arm at the elbows, placing your forearms on the mat. Make sure your elbows are placed below the shoulders.
Push the shoulders away from your ears and relax your head at least an inch above the mat.
Ensure your chest is pushed out and heels are down at all times.
Hold the pose with normal breathing for at least 10 seconds.
If you’re beginner, do these asanas under the guidance of a trained yoga professional. It is imperative that you start small, only stretching your body to the limit to which it allows. If you experience any pain while doing these asanas at home, discontinue practice.