Best Five Yoga Exercises That Will Help Get You In Shape

These yoga exercises will help you build strong, lean arm muscles that will make you want to go sleeveless every day!

Downward facing dog. Photo Credit: Richard Sibbald.

Downward-Facing Dog

Begin on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and your hands shoulder-width apart. Stack your hips over your knees and your shoulders over your wrists. Walk your hands out a few inches in front of your shoulders, with your fingers spread, push into your palms evenly. Exhale as you curl your toes under, lifting your hips and pelvis. Slowly straighten your legs, but don’t lock your knees, bringing your body into an “A” position. Keep your arms straight and rotate your elbows outward, relax your head down, keeping your ears in alignment with your upper arms. Draw your rib cage in toward your thighs, pressing your hips up, lengthening your spine, and slowly press your legs back. Rotate your thighs inward and sink your heels into the floor. Hold for 5-100 breaths.  To release, exhale as you gently bend your knees and come back onto your hands and knees.

Pushup. Photo Credit: Richard Sibbald.


Begin in plank position but place hands slightly wider than shoulders. Extend your gaze forward and keep your front ribs in as you bend your elbows. Keep your elbows in next to your body and inhale as you bend your elbows until they are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your gaze forward and your shoulders lifted. Keep your upper back broad and the tips of your shoulder blades drawn into your back. Keep your body in plank position and don’t let your hips drop. Exhale as you push yourself up back into plank position. Do as many as you can.

Forearm plank. Photo Credit: Richard Sibbald.

Forearm Plank

Begin on all fours with your forearms parallel to one another and shoulder-width apart on the floor. You can either interlace your fingers or place your palms flat on the floor. Curl your toes under and step both feet back until your legs are straight and hip-width apart. Stack your shoulders directly over your elbows. Your shoulders, hips, and heels should all be in one straight line. Keep your front ribs in, tailbone extending toward your heels, and tilt your pelvis inward to engage your core. Gaze slightly past your fingertips. Hold as long as you can, 60 – 90 seconds if possible.

Dolphin with one leg lift. Photo Credit: Richard Sibbald.

Dolphin With One-Leg Lift

Begin on all fours. Place your forearms on the mat, shoulder-width apart. You can either interlace your fingers or place your palms flat on the floor. Curl your toes under and lift your hips up. Relax your upper back down, engage your abdominals in, keeping your spine long and straight. Straighten your legs and walk in as far as you can toward your hands, keeping your shoulders directly over your elbows. Relax your neck and gaze just slightly forward. Lift one leg high, spread your toes, hold for 10 to 15 breaths, repeat on the other side.

Side plank. Photo Credit: Richard Sibbald.

Side Plank

Begin in plank position. Bring your left palm to the center of your mat, exhale, and roll your body back onto your left arm and the outer edge of your left foot. Stack your right foot on top of your left. Press into your left palm to bring your shoulder away from your earlobe, align your right shoulder directly above your left. Extend your right arm straight up, and gaze sideways or upward. Engage your abdominal muscles by lifting your hips. Hold 3 to 5 slow breaths. Inhale and roll yourself forward and back into plank position. Repeat on the opposite side.



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About the Author

Noreen Lange

Noreen Lange

Noreen Lange has a BS in kinesiology with a minor in fitness, nutrition and health. With over 10 years combined experience as a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and nutrition and wellness consultant, Noreen has worked with celebrities, high profile athletes, and professional sports teams including Tony Gwynn and the San Diego Padres. Comments

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