Yoga Workout for Your Arms

Yoga's weight-bearing poses are a great way to tone your biceps and triceps for strong, sleek arms. While chaturanga dandasana is similar to a push-up and is the most obvious way to see results, there are a lot of other poses that work the arm muscles as well.

If you're still working up to a correct chaturanga (which is important because of the possibility of injury), drop your knees and slowly lower all the way to the floor. Do these poses regularly and you will notice a difference in your arm strength.


Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana
Ann Pizer

Begin the sequence in downward facing dog. Since we're focusing on arms here, check in on your alignment. Your hands should be shoulder's width apart. There is a tendency to take them wider, so make sure you're not doing that. Plant your palms flat on the floor with your fingers spread wide. Apply some light pressure through the finger joints the floor. Rotate your upper arms in to open the shoulder blades on your back.


Plank Pose

Plank Pose

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Come forward to a plank position. Make sure your shoulders are directly over your wrists and engage your quadriceps. Imagine that your shoulders, hips, and ankles are lengthened into one strong, straight line. Holding this position for a few breaths works your arms and your core.


Side Plank - Vasisthasana

Side Plank Pose - Vasisthasana

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Open to the left as you bring all your weight on the right arm and the outside edge of your right foot. Lift your left arm straight up, opening your chest toward the ceiling for a side plank. Stack your left foot on top of the right foot, keeping both feet firmly flexed.


Full Side Plank - Full Vasisthasana

Full Side Plank - Vasisthasana
Ann Pizer

Lift your top leg up while keeping the bottom thigh engaged and foot rooted into the mat. Stay here, or bend your left leg and either place the sole of your left foot on the inside of your right thigh (as in tree pose) or grab your left big toe with your left hand and try to come into full side plank. Either way, make sure to keep your hips lifting up, not sinking down. 


Plank Pose

Plank Pose

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Replace your left foot on top of the right and roll back to center into plank pose. It's time to do side plank on the other side. You can drop your knees and rest in child's pose first if you want to.


Four Limbed Staff Pose - Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga Dandasana
Ann Pizer

After your second side plank, return to plank. Again, there is the option to take a child's pose.

From plank, lower to chaturanga dandasana. Bring your attention to your legs, making sure that they are engaged and firm to support the pose. In your lowered position, do not let your shoulders dip down; keep the upper arms parallel to the floor.

Optional: For an extra arm strengthener, push back up to plank and lower to chaturanga again. Do several of these chaturanga push-ups.


Upward Facing Dog - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward Facing Dog - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Barry Stone

Roll over your toes and let your chest lead you to upward facing dog. Try bending your elbows slightly, rolling your shoulders back, and then straightening your arms. 

Optional: Come back through chaturanga and plank before pushing back to downward facing dog.


Down Dog Split

Down Dog Split with Open Hips
Barry Stone

Raise your right leg to a downward facing dog split. Open your hip and bend your knee so that your foot comes close to your butt.


Plank Variations - Knee to Nose

Knee to Nose
Ann Pizer

Keeping your right leg lifted, resquare your hips toward the floor. Round your spine as you bring your shoulders over your wrists and your right knee and your nose together.


One-Leg Plank

One Leg Plank
Adrianna Williams/Photodisc/Getty Images

Your right leg is still lifted. Come forward to a one-legged plank and possibly keep your leg lifted as you lower to chaturanga. Drop your right leg as you transition into upward facing dog. 

Return to downward facing dog and lift your left leg to move through the previous three steps on that side (starting with the down dog split).

By Ann Pizer, RYT
Ann Pizer is a writer and registered yoga instructor who teaches vinyasa/flow and prenatal yoga classes.