Advertising
Advertising

Feel Stronger and Sexier With This Arm-Sculpting Yoga Sequence

Feel Stronger and Sexier With This Arm-Sculpting Yoga Sequence

de63a6a362b3864b_Down-Dog-Blue.jpg.xxxlarge_2x

    1. Downward Facing Dog

    • Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips.
    • Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale and lift your hips, coming into an upside down “V” shape called Downward Facing Dog.
    • Spread your fingers wide and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes, so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of your mat. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Work on holding for five breaths.

    Arching-Three-Legged-Dog

      2. Arching Three-Legged Dog

      This arm-strengthening variation of Three-Legged Dog involves bending the knee of your top leg, increasing the flexibility in your hip flexors, spine, and hamstrings.

      • Begin in Down Dog. Step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
      • Keeping the left heel on the mat, raise your right leg in the air coming into Three-Legged Dog, and then bend the knee. Actively squeeze your right heel in toward your hip, lifting the knee high.
      • Lift your head up and turn to look over your left shoulder, arching the spine. Think about drawing your head and foot toward each other (if your spine is extremely flexible, your foot and head will touch).
      • Hold here for five breaths, keeping the belly still and breathing into the chest.

      Advertising

      Extended-Tabletop

        3. Extended Tabletop

        Strong and poised like a ballerina, Extended Tabletop will open the front of your body, increase flexibility and strength in your shoulders, and tone your tush.

        • From Arching Three-Legged Dog, slowly lower your right foot to the floor behind you as you simultaneously raise your right arm in the air. You’re essentially rotating your body 180 degrees so your belly is pointing up toward the ceiling. Readjust your feet if you need to so they are parallel and slightly wider than hip-width apart.
        • Press firmly into your feet to lift your hips high, engaging your glutes and hamstrings, and extend your right arm over your face.
        • Hold here for five complete breaths, gazing at your extended hand or up toward the ceiling.

        Yoga-Poses-Tone-Arms-Upper-Back

          4. Balancing Star

          This creative cross between Sage and Half Moon will tone both your upper body and core.

          • From Extended Tabletop, lift your right arm and leg into the air, rotating your left toes so they point away from you.
          • Stay here, balancing on your left hand and foot. Try to keep your shoulders, spine, and hips in one straight line, and gaze toward your right hand. Press your left fingertips into the mat to take some pressure out of your wrists.
          • Hold here for five deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady. Then release back to Down Dog.

          Advertising

          Quarter-Dog

            5. Quarter Dog

            Not only will this easy-on-the-wrists variation of Down Dog intensely stretch the backs of your legs, but it will also work out your arms, shoulders, and upper back.

            • From Down Dog, spread your fingers wide and lower your forearms to the mat. Check to make sure you’re creating a straight line between your elbows and middle fingers.
            • Keep your legs straight and lower your heels toward the ground as far as you can. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of your mat.
            • Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths. Then straighten your arms, coming back to Downward Dog.

            One-Legged-Four-Limbed-Staff

              6. One-Legged Four-Limbed Staff

              Lifting one leg in this Chaturanga variation really targets your triceps and shoulders. It’s an advanced Chaturanga that requires more strength from your arms.

              • From Down Dog, shift weight forward so your shoulders are directly over your wrists, coming into the top of a push-up position.
              • Bend your elbows behind you, brushing your arms against the sides of your body as you lower down. Hold Four-Limbed Staff with your body in one straight line, making sure your elbows are at 90-degree angles.
              • Lift your right leg a few inches off the floor, pointing your toes, and hold for three deep breaths. Release that foot to the floor, and lift your left leg for another three breaths.
              • Release your left foot to the floor, inhale into Upward Facing Dog, and exhale into Downward Facing Dog.

              Advertising

              Firefly

                7. Firefly

                This arm-balancing pose will tone your arms and increase flexibility in your hamstrings.

                • First, Downward Facing Dog. Jump your feet up so they land behind your hands.
                • Bring your hands back through your legs, and press your palms into your calves, trying to crawl deeper through your legs. Once your arms and shoulders are as far back behind your thighs as you can get them, plant your palms firmly behind your feet, cupping your heels with your thumb and index finger.
                • Bend your knees and squat down, resting the backs of your legs as close to your shoulders as you can.
                • Make sure your palms and fingers are spread wide as you shift weight into them. Lift your feet off the floor, either one at a time or both together, straightening your legs. Never place the weight on your wrist.
                • Hold for five breaths and then release your feet to the floor, coming into a Wide Squat.

                Side-Crow

                  8. Side Crow

                  This variation of Crow involves a little spinal twist and is just the pose to work your upper body. It’s a perfect posture for people who want to use just their own weight to tone up their muscle.

                  • From a Wide Squat, walk your feet together. Twist your torso to the right, and place both hands on the floor so they’re parallel with your thighs and shoulder-width apart.
                  • Place your outer right hip onto your right elbow and your outer right knee onto your left elbow.
                  • Shift weight into your palms, and lift your feet off the floor, coming into Side Crow. Hold here for five breaths, and then release your feet to the floor, coming back to a low squat position.
                  • Rotate your torso to the left, and repeat this pose on the other side. After five breaths, come back to a low squat.

                  Advertising

                  Headstand-B

                    9. Headstand B

                    This headstand variation is a killer move for your upper body, and for an added bonus, it’ll also tone your core.

                    • From a squat position, release your knees to the floor. Lower your elbows to the floor, and interlace your fingers, bringing your lowest pinky in front of the other pinky so both pinkies are on the floor, forming a semicircle with your hands.
                    • Place the back of your head against your palms and the top of your head on the mat. Once your head and forearms feel stable, straighten both legs and walk your feet toward your face as far as you can.
                    • Shift your hips over your shoulders, and keep your elbows planted firmly on the mat. Lift your right leg straight up toward the sky and then your left, coming into Bound Headstand (also called Headstand A).
                    • Hold this position for five deep breaths. To move into Headstand B, slowly lower both legs down halfway so that your legs are parallel with the floor, staying here.
                    • After five breaths, lower your feet all the way to the ground, resting in Child’s Pose.
                    • This is an advanced post, know your limit and listen to your body.

                    Child-Pose

                      10. Child’s Pose

                      • Kneel on your mat with your knees hips-width distance apart, and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lie your torso over your thighs. Try to lengthen your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
                      • Rest your arms beside your legs, with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you.
                      • Stay here for five breaths.

                      yoga a7
                        Reference: popsugar.com

                        More by this author

                        Felix H.

                        Curating inspiring quotes and infographics to help improve people's lives

                        Get To Know Your Personality Type 100+ Motivational Quotes On Dream, Goal And Future 100 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of All Time! (117) 100 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of All Time! (116) 100 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of All Time! (119)

                        Trending in Exercise

                        1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

                        Read Next

                        Advertising
                        Advertising
                        Advertising

                        Last Updated on August 10, 2020

                        Why Can’t I Lose Weight? 8 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Fit

                        Why Can’t I Lose Weight? 8 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Fit

                        It’s only natural for anyone in such a situation to wonder “Why can’t I lose weight? Why am I struggling to get fit?”

                        You may even want to give up but don’t!

                        I am here to provide you with help in figuring out why you are struggling with getting fit and will some realistic solutions.

                        First, it is important to highlight that being skinny doesn’t automatically make someone healthy or fit. In-fact, that’s far from the truth as a small frame doesn’t guarantee either.

                        However, it is a known fact that there are more health risks associated with obesity. With this in mind, losing 10 to 20 pounds could improve your health condition and overall fitness. For example, excess fat can cause inflammation and you risk causing damage to your joints and tissues. By losing and keeping weight off, you will lessen your chances of having illnesses such as arthritis, inflammation, and damaging your joints.

                        Now that we have discussed the importance of weight loss, let’s move on to the interesting part – 8 possible reasons why you aren’t losing weight.

                        1. Are You Starting Your Day with Breakfast?

                        Here’s the deal about dieting. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and if you’re not eating the most important meal of the day, you are probably doing yourself a disservice.

                        You may think skipping breakfast will help you shed those pounds. However, by noontime, you will find yourself famished, causing you to eat more during lunch. Studies have shown skipping breakfast is correlated with obesity.[1]

                        Advertising

                        You want to have the first meal of the day within an hour of waking up. Eat something that’s fiber-rich and packed with protein to carry you until lunch. Grab a fruit, a vitamin-rich smoothie or a whole-wheat toast with eggs along with some Greek yogurt.

                        2. Does Your Metabolism Affect Your fitness?

                        How fast you burn calories will depend on your metabolism. If your metabolism is slow, then perhaps it is the reason you’re not losing the weight as quickly as you would like to.

                        There are many factors affecting your metabolism, for example ageing, or how active your lifestyle is. If you’re not as active as you once were, you may experience a decline in your muscle mass. As a result, your metabolism slows down.

                        If you want to speed up your metabolic rate, lift weights and stay away from low-calorie diets.

                        3. Can Genetics Affect Your Fitness?

                        Yes, it is possible you inherited the slow metabolism from your parents or even your grandparents. You can’t control this kind of inheritance.

                        Unfortunately, with a slower metabolism, you will have to work harder than those with a fast metabolism to lose weight.

                        4. Does Gender Reduce Your Chances of Losing Weight?

                        Sounds silly, right? It’s not! This is a great question and the answer is complicated.

                        According to a study, it seems it’s a lot easier for men to lose weight compared to women.[2] On the other hand, when women lose weight, they keep it off longer than men. The big differences are where and how men and women lose weight.

                        Advertising

                        Men lose weight on their abdominal area first. Women, not so much. The stomach and hips are the hardest areas of the body for women to lose weight and to train. Therefore, if you’re a woman who wants to lose weight on her stomach, strap on binding corsets and waist trainers, they really do help.

                        Remember, weight loss is not all corsets, the best way to lose weight alongside wearing shapewear and exercising is to create a calorie deficit.

                        5. Are You Eating Before Going to Bed?

                        Having a snack too close to bedtime is a no-no. If you’re eating before bed, it could be why you are struggling to drop those pounds and get fit. By eating before going to bed, you’re making it difficult to burn fat.

                        A study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the US, and the University of Murcia in Spain concluded that consuming food during the circadian evening plays an important role in body composition.[3]

                        Try eating dinner about two or three hours before you lay down for the evening. Anything less will raise your blood sugar and insulin levels and your temperature.

                        Snacking after dinner will also increase caloric intake depending on your snack of choice. If you must munch on something, choose your snacks wisely.

                        6. Can Stress Affect Your Fitness?

                        Some people get stressed out and they eat, but here’s the kicker. They reach for comfort foods and most of the time, it’s junk food like ice cream and chocolate cake.

                        Instead, if you find yourself stress eating, make a conscious effort to reduce your stress levels by taking an alternative route and instead of stress eating, reduce stress by exercising or meditating.

                        Advertising

                        Stress plays a vital role in our health and fitness, where necessary seek the appropriate medical help.

                        7. What if You Have Trouble Sleeping?

                        Sometimes when you worry or suffer from certain illnesses, you may have trouble falling or staying asleep. This can affect the metabolic rate as well and your energy levels.

                        When you don’t have enough energy, it makes working out less desirable. This could be another reason why you can’t lose weight.

                        Did you know people who don’t get enough rest eat about 300 or more calories a day versus individuals who get enough sleep?

                        For example: After coming home from a hard day at work, no one wants to cook. It is easier to stop by the first fast-food restaurant and eat that 1200 calorie burger combo meal. Maybe even eating that 300 calorie chocolate bar for dessert.

                        If you find yourself eating out often, could this be yet another reason why you struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Take away food generally contains a lot of hidden calories making it harder for your body to burn through the night.

                        8. Could Your Thyroid Be Contributing to Why You Are Not Getting Fit?

                        An under-active thyroid can influence your ability to lose weight. This condition is known as ‘hypothyroidism’, not to confuse with hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). Let me explain.

                        An overactive thyroid affects your ability to gain weight, not lose it.

                        Advertising

                        With hypothyroidism, your body retains water and salt buildup. Because of this, you gain pounds, making it difficult to lose them. This condition, along with other chemicals in the body, affects your energy levels and your metabolism.

                        If you suspect this is the reason why you are struggling to get fit, talk to a medical professional about it. The doctor or nurse practitioner will know exactly what to do.

                        Summing It Up

                        There are many factors that affect whether you gain or lose weight. To give you the best chance of losing weight effectively, you should aim to identify and control these factors.

                        There are a number of benefits to losing weight and getting fit. For example, by dropping a few pounds you will take pressure off your knees and other joints in your lower body. As well as increasing your overall health condition by reducing illnesses such as stress, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

                        Finally, remember it’s not all about what you eat. Whilst diet is vital in the process of losing weight and getting fit, it is not the only factor to consider when losing weight. You need a well balanced fitness program consists of diet and exercise. Therefore, performing regular exercise such as lifting weights a few times a week and will help meet your goals quicker.

                        Please use these useful tips to help you lose weight, get fit and achieve your dream body.

                        More Weight Loss Tips

                        Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        Read Next