Yoga Sequence to Strengthen Your Upper Body

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Yoga may not be the first form of exercise you would choose to build upper body strength, but it is extremely effective at developing muscle strength.  Additionally yoga will also give you the focus and balance needed to achieve challenging arm balancing poses.  This sequence was designed to use minimal poses to work the muscles in your shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back, as well as your core muscles.

Flow through this sequence of poses slowly and as many times as you need to, working on holding each pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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Plank Pose – Begin in Table Top Pose with your wrists, elbows, and shoulders in one line and your knees in line with your hips.  Step your feet back, forming a straight line from your heels to your head.  Keep your hips lifted in line with your body and your navel drawing in towards your spine.

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Yoga Push Up – From Plank Pose roll forward onto your toes and bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle hugging them into your ribs.  Keep your hips level with your torso and draw the navel in towards the spine.

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Downward Facing Dog – From Table Top Pose push into the hands and send the hips up and back towards the ceiling.  Draw the heels down towards the mat and tuck the chin towards the chest. Press evenly into the hands.

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Dolphin Pose – From Downward Facing Dog drop onto the forearms keeping the arms shoulder distance apart.  Press into the hands and keep the top of the head off of the mat.

imageDolphin Plank – From Dolphin Pose walk the feet out straight behind you to bring them in line with the rest of your body.  Press into your palms, keep your core engaged and hips lifted to prevent collapsing in the low back.

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