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Yoga for Upper Body Strength

Do you know how Yoga builds strength? It is an excellent source of resistance training, using your own body weight to provide the resistance, and building muscle in the process. Yoga is especially great for upper body strength, sculpting and defining your arms and shoulder with specific poses.

Here are some yoga poses that will help you build upper body strength.

Table top Balance: Start in a standing position, Mountain Pose. Make sure you are steady, balanced, and tall. Open your legs wide and fold forward. Place both hands on the floor between the legs about six inches apart, adjust as you need too. Lean forward and put all your weight into your upper body. Itís okay if your heels lift up. Then reverse and bring all of your weight back and into the lower body. Continue the movement about 8 times.

Begin the following group of exercises from table pose. On your hands and knees, your hands should be parallel, directly under your shoulders. Your knees should be parallel and hip-width apart. Let your spine be long, forming one straight line from your tailbone to the crown of your head.

Yoga push-ups #1: Fingers pointing straight ahead, bend the elbows straight back, hugging them close to the body. As you exhale, lower the chest toward the floor keeping your knees down. Then inhale and press back to table pose. Repeat 5 times.

Yoga push-ups #2: Bring your arms into a forearm shaped triangle and clasp your hands together. Then take your arms out in front of your chest, keeping the elbows slightly bent and lined up under the shoulders. Move your body forward until your face is near your clasped hands and then move your butt back to starting position. Repeat 5-8 times.

Dolphin pose #3: Bring your forearms to rest on the floor in a triangle position and interlace the fingers. Tuck your toes under and press your hips back and up toward the ceiling as the chest melts toward the floor and the armpits open. This is Downward Facing Dog. Press your forearms strongly into the floor and visualize your spine lengthening. Your head should be dropped and dipping towards the triangle forearms. Hold as long as you can safely.

Dolphin push-ups #4: From dolphin pose, exhale and move the chest forward, so that your face comes ahead of your hands and the nose moves toward the floor; then inhale and press back into Dolphin pose. Repeat 3-5 times.

These are challenging poses and I issue caution. Practice them slowly, and progressively. Always check with a medical professional before this or any exercise program. Live Right, Practice Yoga.

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This content was written by Terri Johansen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Terri Johansen for details.



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