Most yoga poses require strong forearms for stability and balance. Rigid and weak arms can lead to injury and misalignment, thereby keeping you away from your practice.
To make the most out of your yoga practice, you should focus on improving the muscles in your forearms to avoid wrist pain and to smoothly progress through challenging arm inversion and balances.
Luckily, there are several yoga poses that you can practice to strengthen your forearms and improve your overall upper body strength. These asanas gently stretch and tone the arms while keeping their functions healthy and active.
We’ve compiled the five best yoga poses to achieve strong and toned arms. Consider adding the following asanas to your daily yoga practice and be consistent to get the desired results.
Upward-facing dog and 4 other yoga poses to strengthen your forearms
For each of the following yoga poses, start slow and be careful, especially when performing advanced asanas.
1) Melting heart pose (Anahatasana)
This pose offers a deep stretch to the forearms and shoulders. It also helps reduce tightness around the muscles.
To do it, start on all fours. Your knees should be aligned with your hips, and your shins should be pressed on the floor. Keep your toes flexed and palms in line with your shoulders.
Move your hips back and your palms forward. Then move your butts back toward your heels. Ensure that your hips align with your knees and your elbows are off the floor.
Exhale and bring your chin or forehead to the floor and try to keep a natural curve in your spine. Engage your abs to support your spine and hold the posture for a few seconds while breathing deeply.
2) Eight-angle pose (Astavakrasana)
The eight-angle pose is an advanced yoga asana that builds forearm and upper body strength. While it is a powerful pose, it requires flexibility and strength to execute the movements correctly.
To do this pose, start in Dandasana. Bend your left knee. Move your thigh out to your left side to bring your left knee over your left shoulder. Press your left leg into your arm to balance yourself. If you can’t do this, simply hold your leg with both hands as high as possible.
Now slightly tilt yourself and position your hands on either side of your hips on the floor at a shoulder-width distance. Grip your left shoulder with your left calf and inner thigh.
Firmly press into your hands and engage your abs to lift your right leg and hips at the same time. Hook your right ankle over your left and press both ankles together. Bend your elbows and move your chest forward while slowly swinging your legs to your left. Straighten your legs and stay in the posture for a few seconds.
3) Four-limbed staff pose (Chaturanaga Dandasana)
The four-limbed staff pose strengthens the forearms, shoulders, wrists, ankles, thighs, and core. It helps enhance energy and develop empowerment. To make this pose easier, you can loop a yoga strap around your upper arms to maintain alignment.
To start, take a plank pose and lean forward to lower your body until it gets parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows so that your arms get at a 90-degree angle and ensure that your elbows are close to your sides.
Do not allow your shoulders to come lower than the height of your elbows. Maintain a lengthened spine, and do not lift your hips or bend them down. Stay in the posture for as long as you can.
4) Upward plank pose (Purvottanasana)
This yoga pose helps improve muscle strength in your arms while also building strength and power in the shoulders and wrists.
Start in a seated position with your legs outstretched in the front. Position your hands behind your hips and keep your fingertips pointing towards your toes.
Tighten your belly and slowly lift your hips as high as you can while moving your chin towards your chest. Straighten your shoulder blades to help lift your chest and then slowly bring your head back. Stay in this pose for a few seconds and then release.
5) Upward-facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana)
The upward-facing dog pose gently stretches the front side of your body, including the chest and the muscles between the ribs. Plus, it strengthens the shoulders, forearms, legs, and upper back.
To do this pose, lie on your belly with your hands next to your chest and your fingers pointing in the front. Your elbows should be close to your sides. Gently press the top of your feet to the ground, and keep your tailbone towards your heels by engaging your knees and thighs.
As you inhale, straighten your arms and move your chest up and your legs off the ground. Look straight and stay in that position for a few seconds.
Perform the aforementioned yoga poses slowly and carefully to prevent potential muscle strains and injuries.
Be mindful of your wrists, and use yoga props such as blocks and straps to hold the pose more comfortably.