Magic Yoga Move: Slim, Strong Arms
Before I started practicing yoga, I was super-self-conscious about my arms—they were flabby and untoned. But they’re now a favorite asset, thanks to this amazing yoga sequence—Sphinx to Forearm Plank to Downward Dog to Upward Dog. It utilizes every part of the arm while also working the chest and back muscles, so you get all-around toning (including the bra-bulge region). Repeat the sequence up to eight times, holding each pose for a full breath (or more), and do it at least three to four times a week for the fastest results.
Now, I love my arms not only because they have great definition, but also because I can hold myself up in challenging poses, carry heavy grocery bags, and swing my nephews around. Strong is beautiful!
How to do it:
1. Lie on your belly with forehead and forearms on the floor. Inhale as you engage your abs and raise your chest until elbows are at 90 degrees. Imagine your hands are glued to the mat, pulling the floor toward you.
2. Keeping forearms down, exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your body so it’s in a straight line from heels to shoulders. Contract your abs, hug your shoulder blades together, and press firmly into your arms and back through your heels.
3. Inhale, lifting hips toward the ceiling. Move your shoulders away from your ears and think about drawing your front ribs toward each other.
4. Exhale as you straighten both arms. (If this is too challenging at first, straighten one arm at a time.)
5. Inhale, untucking your toes and lowering your hips toward the floor (don’t let them touch) as you lift your chest. Exhale as you lower down, rolling your torso until your forehead touches the floor.