Expert Q and A: What are the best ways to tone the arms and upper body?
Posted Aug 01 2011 4:16pm
Question: What are the best ways to tone the arms and upper body?
Answer: The most effective way to "tone" the arms and upper body are to placing upper body joints/muscles in weight bearing poses. This weight bearing should keep in mind the lines of gravity so that you are working effectively and efficiently against this line of ‘pull’. You can manipulate the degree of loading by slowing down the pace of movement in flowing transitions like Chaturanga. You can also focus toning via endurance through longer holds. Insure that when you increase intensity through slowing, holding longer, or increasing lever lengths, that you are still able to retain control and integrity. Your breath will be a key element in determining how much control is being maintained – is your breath is still slow, full of depth, and has a fluid or smooth quality?
Here are some common yoga poses that offer great strength building and toning effects throughout the body Plank Pose (Chaturanga) and descending to the floor targets the triceps, anterior shoulder, and pectoral muscles.
Upward Facing Dog tones the triceps, lower pectoral region and inner shoulder girdle muscles.
Cobra with Yoga Mudra targets the upper back.
Slide Balance brings strength into the shoulder and arms of the supporting arm.
As you perform these and similar weight bearing poses, be mindful of how weight is being distributed in the hands and that there is no discomfort in the wrists. Also maintain focus on the whole body. As you place extra energy into under body, observe again that the spinal integrity and breath have not been lost. Enjoy the "toning" that these poses provide, but practice without ego and with the observance of ahimsa (non-harm).
Expert Q & A provided by My Yoga Online teacher and Co-Founder, Kreg Weiss .