Yoga Can Help You Build Stronger Arms

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Yoga Can Help You Build Stronger Arms

I was at work the other day when a coworker who regularly attends Yoga classes began pumping a 20-pound dumbbell in his cubicle.
I inquired as to why he does this so regularly, and his response was
"Oh, my yoga classes don't help my arms at all."

I looked at him bewildered, and thankfully for me, I had a draft of a book with images of various Yoga balancing postures, so I asked him whether he had attempted them or even knew what they were. Surprisingly, he declined and now wants me to show him how to use them.

This makes me wonder how many other yoga practitioners believe that Yoga is insufficient for developing arm strength.

Nothing could be further from the truth if you are such a person.

Yoga is great for arm strength, and while you won't see your biceps bulging through your T-shirt sleeves, I guarantee you'll notice again in arm strength and endurance that you won't get from other forms of exercise.
Furthermore, some basic Calisthenics, such as push-ups, planks, and dive-bombers, are greatly influenced by Yoga.

The one and only Sun Salutations, in my opinion, are the finest exercises to focus on first if one wants to build arm strength through Yoga.

When I was having trouble holding endurance-building poses like the Wheel, Bow, Peacock, and Crow Pose—and their variations—for good enough length of time (say an average of 90 seconds and beyond), I discovered by chance that increasing the number of rounds of the Sun-Salutations (Exercises) mentioned earlier to at least 24 straight rounds, I was able to hold the poses for good enough length of time (say an average of 90 seconds and beyond). I could stay in any of the stances above for a long time.

It's acceptable to assume that this is because the muscles get warmed up by this vigorous exercise.
For the otherwise moderate to intense demands placed on them, they use a combination of systematic positions.

Furthermore, when I began including Hindu-push-ups (essentially Downward Facing Dog meets Cobra Pose repeated in sequence) as a source of diversity in my workouts, these same Sun Salutations increased my stamina, allowing me to complete a good amount of this Yoga-esque work exercise.

In light of this, in addition to the Sun Salutations (24+ rounds), the following poses should be prioritized for improving arm strength:

1. The Wheel Pose
2. The Inclined Plane Pose
3. The Bow Pose
4. The several variations of the Peacock Pose
5. The several variations of Crow Pose
6. The Side and Regular Plank pose

Furthermore, when combined with its counter-poses—The Bridge and Fish pose—even the most basic shoulder-stand can be beneficial for improving arm strength when practicing Yoga.

What's more, each of these poses is excellent for toning the abs and, in some cases, providing a deep tissue massage to your internal organs. Your free weights can't possibly accomplish that, can you?

 

Would you like to experience the wonderful benefits of Yoga while being able to burn calories, manage your weight and get into great shape at the same time? Try this 12-week Yoga Burn Challenge! 

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