Time to bare arms! Warm weather is here—and so are short sleeves and tank tops. If you want to tone your arms for spring and summer, concentrate on these 3 yoga poses. Even if all you have time for is a set of yogi push-ups every morning or evening, you’ll notice a difference in the way your arms look in your tanks, tees, and sundresses.
Get into dolphin pose: Start in downward facing dog then lower your forearms to the floor and interlace your fingers. Walk your feet back a few inches, then inhale and bring your chest forward into a plank as if your chin was going to touch in front of your fists. Press back from plank in to your forearm down dog or dolphin pose. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
From downward dog, walk or hop your feet forward into a squat position. Lift your hips as high as you can and bend your elbows back like you would in chaturanga. Press your inner thighs around your upper outer arms, squeezing tightly with the legs as your shift your weight forward into your arms, then use your abs to lift your toes up off the mat. Try to hold for 5 breaths then lower down. Don’t give up on crow pose: you’re working your arms just by attempting it! Put a pillow in front of you as a crash pad to get over your fear of falling. As you get stronger in crow, try straightening your arms for an extra challenge.
After you lower down from crow, have a seat. Bend your knees, place your feet flat on the mat and place your hands 10 to 12 inches behind you with your fingers facing forward. On an inhalation, lift your entire body up off the mat. Press firmly into your feet and hands and use the backs of your arms to open up your chest. Hold for at least 5 to 8 breaths before lowering down.
Kristin McGee is a leading yoga and Pilates instructor and healthy lifestyle expert based in New York City. She is an ACE certified personal trainer who regularly trains celebrity clients in New York and Los Angeles. She serves as Health’s contributing fitness editor and is frequently seen on national TV. Her latest in a large collection of fitness DVDs is YogaSlim. Follow her on Twitter @KristinMcGee and like her page on Facebook.