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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Tip of the Week: Tone Your Arms

To get nicely toned arms from your Bikram practice, set your intention before class to engage your arm muscles as tightly as possible as the dialogue dictates. By paying slightly more attention to the isolation of the arm muscles used when holding a pose, you’ll reap the rewards of stronger, nicer looking arms!

With every posture you will be using your arms one way or another, but here are some postures to give extra consideration while engaging your arm muscles:

  • When doing postures where one or both of your arms are out in front of you as in Awkward Pose and Standing Bow Pose, energetically activate your tricep muscles by pressing your pinky and thumb in toward the other fingers. At the same time, really stretch them towards the mirror with your shoulders down and back.
  • When doing postures where your arms are over you head with your fingers interlaced, pointer fingers together as in Half Moon and Balancing Stick, energetically activate your bicep muscles by mindfully pressing your pointer fingers together. At the same time, activate your triceps by squeezing your palms flat together.
  • In Hands to Feet Pose, pull up and back with your elbows to keep your biceps engaged. Don't hunch your shoulders, and keep them pulled away from your ears.
  • In Eagle Pose, activate your biceps by squeezing your arms and palms together, while at the same time sliding your shoulders down and back.
  • When doing postures where your arms are over your head with only your thumbs crossed and palms flat together as in Half Tortoise and Standing Separate Leg Stretching, energetically activate your triceps by pressing your pinky fingers together.
  • When doing Triangle Pose, your shoulders should be down away from your ears, each lined up over the other. Your arms should be fully engaged, reaching as hard as they can away from each other.
  • Cobra Pose works the deltoids, trapezious, and tricep muscles. With the top of the fingers in line with the top of the shoulders, baby fingers in line with the deltoid, energetically press your pinky fingers into the ground to activate your tricep muscles. Keep your elbows tight your body with your shoulder blades down and back.
  • In Locust Pose, maintain a strong upper body with all your arm muscles engaged, a nice “pushing” grip with your fingers, and learn to shift your body weight to the front of your body.

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