Use These 5 Yoga Poses to Strengthen and Tone Your Arms

Yoga, and certain yoga poses in particular, can strengthen and tone your full body. And when it comes to toning your arms, there are PLENTY of arm strengthening yoga poses for that!

Take, for example, the classic Chaturanga push-up. Doing just one of these shows how challenging – and thereby strengthening – that movement is for your wrists, forearms, biceps, triceps, and shoulders.

Sprinkle a few of these Chaturangas throughout your Vinyasa Yoga flow and you’ll feel a serious burn in no time! You do not need to use weights to get results.

You can use basic yoga poses and practices to strengthen and tone your arms.

Before You Start Practicing Arm Strengthening Yoga Poses, Here’s a Brief Word on Safety

More and more people practice yoga these days (millions in fact), which has made for an incredible spike in injuries. Repetitive movement, a vigorous practice, or plenty of both can cause serious injury.

Major injuries are often due to overuse or incorrect usage of joints and muscles. Wrist and shoulders top the injury list, specifically the rotator cuff.

Yoga Teachers: Should We Teach Chaturanga In Vinyasa Flow Classes?

Dennis Cardone, a professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center says, “Because yoga is thought to be a low impact exercise, there’s a perception that whatever you do on your mat is automatically safe but that’s simply not true.

This leads to a false sense of security and overconfidence; a dangerous mix that can result in a chronic issue in the long run.”

If this area is weak, don’t try a full push-up, or an arm balance where you place all your body weight on one area. Involve another limb or other muscles to assist in modifying these postures.

For example: Side Plank. Instead of using one arm to bear the majority of your weight, place your bottom knee down so you omit almost half of your body weight while still gaining the benefits of the pose.

Remember to build strength gently, slowly, and gradually.

Here Are 5 Arm Strengthening Yoga Poses and Practices to Tone Your Arms:

Let’s explore some yoga poses and practices that will strengthen and tone the arms.

1. Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation A)

We start with this classic Vinyasa Flow because it’s a perfect opportunity to warm the entire body up, but also focuses on the strength of the upper body and arms.

Vinyasa typically means that you move with your breath – some practitioners give each posture one breath. This is your practice. Go through your flow as slow or as fast as you’d like. Repeat as many times as necessary.

These postures move major joints in a wide range of motion and increase the circulation of synovial fluid in your joints. You may find this challenging or relaxing. Simply notice as you move through each form.

Let’s try it:

mountain pose
  • Inhale into Upward Salute













  • Exhale into Standing Forward Fold













  • Inhale into Halfway Lift


  • Exhale to step or float into Chaturanga













  • Inhale into Cobra














  • Inhale to walk or float into Standing Halfway Lift


  • Exhale into Standing Forward Fold













  • Inhale into Upward Salute


  • Exhale to draw your hands to heart center as you end back in Mountain Pose
mountain pose

Note: Chaturanga Dandasana is one transition that can cause great injury if the shoulder is constantly moving below the elbow.

We weren’t created to do 50 Chaturangas in 60 minutes. Feel free to omit this transition altogether by simply staying in Plank (you may have your knees on the ground), and then transition directly to Cobra.

Learn the Difference Between Sun Salutation A + Sun Salutation B (Yoga Photo Tutorial)

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

downward dog

Because we often visit Downward Facing Dog in a practice, it is at the top of our list of arm strengthening yoga poses.

As you gain strength, Downward Facing Dog may start to feel like a restful posture. It’s technically an inverted arm balance and therefore has many benefits.

Let’s try it:

  • From Tabletop, curl your toes to press into the earth and lift your hips upward
  • Lengthen your legs and bend your knees as much as you’d like
  • Place your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart
  • Lengthen your legs and arms
  • Allow your head to hang heavy
  • Externally rotate your shoulders and internally rotate your palms
  • Press the pad at the base of your index fingers into the earth, creating stabilization in your arms
  • Allow your head, neck, and upper shoulders to relax
  • Hold for a few deep breaths

Curious About Your Alignment In Down Dog? Watch This Yoga Pose Tutorial (Video)

3. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

upward facing dog

You can transition easily from Downward Facing Dog into Upward Facing Dog for another arm strengthening yoga pose.

Upward Facing Dog will strengthen your arms as well as strengthen and stretch your wrists.

In addition, Upward Facing Dog opens and awakens see YogiApproved for the rest of this article