Love your arms

Blog Love Your Arms Power Flow Yoga

Strong shapely arms are sexy. And being attached to the shoulders, chest and core, the side effects of strengthening your arms ripple beautifully through your body.

Whether you want to build definition into sparrow arms or reduce bingo wings. Chaturanga is simply the best, take minutes to do and are easy to fit into your routine with quick results. Imagine just 20 breaths a day to shape up those arms.

Chaturanga or Yoga Push-ups take some serious upper body strength when done correctly, below are 3 levels to develop strength gradually and in the right places. 

 

Beginner:

Start on hands & knees with the shoulders over the wrists and the hips over the knees. Turn your upper arms outwards so your biceps face forward.

  1. Exhale: Keep your hips over the knees and bend your elbows so they come towards the sides of your body (not out to the sides as with a press-up) bring your chest towards the floor between your hands (elbows off the floor). 
  2. Inhale: When, either your chest touches the floor or you feel you may collapse, push your chest forwards and up through your upper arms as you lower your hips all the way to the floor. Pull your shoulders behind you, so really pushing your chest through your arms, and squeeze your shoulder blades together into a backbend – Baby Cobra.
  3. Exhale: Slowly move your hips back over your feet and come back to the start position on hands & knees. 
  4. Inhale then repeat.

Repeat daily, 3 to 5 sets to start, and slowly increase to 10 over several days/weeks. Continue until you feel strong in this sequence, then move to Intermediate.

 

Intermediate:

Start in Half Plank, knees on the floor, straight arms, shoulders over the wrists with your body and upper legs in a straight line. Turn your upper arms outwards so your biceps face forward.

  1. Exhale: Keep your body and upper legs straight and bend your elbows so they come towards the sides of your body, until your arms are 90°. Really hug your body with your elbows as firm as possible.
  2. Inhale: Straighten your arms as you push your chest forwards and up through your upper arms. Pull your shoulders behind you, so really pushing your chest through your arms to Half Chaturanga.
  3. Exhale: Curl over your toes, nod your head forwards (chin to chest) and push with your hands and feet to lift your hips to Downward Dog.
  4. Inhale: Lower your knees to the floor and take your shoulders over your wrists to the start position, Half Plank with your biceps facing forward.

Repeat daily, 3 to 5 sets to start, and slowly increase to 10 over several days/weeks. Continue until you feel strong in this sequence, then move to Advanced.

 

Advanced:

Start in Plank, straight arms, shoulders over the wrists with the body and legs in a straight line. Push the chest away from the floor, shoulders to the ceiling and lengthen the arms and body. Turn your upper arms outwards so your biceps face forward. For this sequence it’s just the hands and feet that have contact with the floor.

  1. Exhale: Keep your body & legs in a straight line and bend your elbows so they come towards the sides of your body, until your arms are 90°. Really hug your body with your elbows as firm as possible to Chaturanga.
  2. Inhale: Keep the upper body engaged as you roll over the toes to the top of the feet then straighten your arms as you push your chest forwards and up through your upper arms (try not to touch the floor with your legs). Pull your shoulders behind you, so really pushing your chest through your arms to Upward Dog. (Rolling over your feet before pushing up is very challenging, at first stay on the toes until you feel strong enough to do the full version).
  3. Exhale: Curl over your toes, nod your head forwards (chin to chest) and push with your hands and feet to lift your hips to Downward Dog. 
  4. Inhale: Take your shoulders over your wrists to the start position, Plank.

Repeat daily, 3 to 5 sets to start, and slowly increase to 10 or more. Maybe try flowing through the complete Sun Salutation to tone the whole body.

By Paul Selvey

Paul has practised Yoga for over two decades and taught Yoga full time for 8 years. With 1000+ hours of advanced teacher training he shapes a mix of movement, breathing, kriya, sound therapy and meditation techniques to suit his students, from beginner to advanced.

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