Article by Ceri Wheeldon
How can we tone our upper arms? This one of the most frequently asked questions by Fab after Fifty readers in our fitness section.
Help is at hand! We had a terrific response to Danielle Collins’ exercises from her Face Yoga DVD, and Danielle has now offered to share some of her arm toning exercises from her new 10 Minute Natural Body Lift DVD.
Head of the Cow Pose: to tone the back of the arms
In a standing position, raise one arm up above the head and then lower it behind the back, bringing the other arm around to meet it. Try to clasp the hands together but don’t worry if you can’t, the more you practice this Head of Cow Pose, the easier it will become. You are just aiming for a gentle stretch in the tricep, the muscle at the back of the arm. Take 3 deep breaths, feel the chest open and the shoulders release any built up tension they may be holding on to. Bring the arms back down, give them a little shake and then repeat the other side. Take 3 deep breaths. You may find this side feels a little easier or a little harder than the other side. We have often got better flexibility on one side than the other but regular practice of yoga and pilates aims to correct that imbalance through poses like this one.
Downward Dog: to strengthen and tone the upper body
Starting on hands and knees, tuck toes under and raise up the knees and the bottom coming in to Downward Dog. Ensuring the legs are hip width apart, pressing down through the hands and feet and looking towards the knees. If the back of the legs feel tight you can lift up one heel and then the other which will release any tightness. Hold for 5 deep breaths. As well as toning the arms, this will release any tightness, energise the mind and revitalise the body.
Sitting Side Bend: To lift and tone the side of the arms
In a sitting position, bring the hands by the side of the hips. Lift up one arm and stretch it across the body in to a Sitting Side Bend. Bend the supporting arms. Inhale. Exhale back to centre. Repeat the other side. Stretching across. Inhale. Exhale back to centre.
Plank: to tone the arms and strengthen the core
From a hands and knees position, bring the knees back a little, tuck the toes under, lift the knees up off the floor and come in to a Plank Pose. Draw your tummy muscles up and in, breathing deeply in to the side and back of the rib cage for at least 3 breaths.
All of Danielle’s exercises can be found in her latest DVD – which is very conveniently split into 10 minute segments. I shall be starting my own routine following the exercises in Danielle’s DVD so watch out for my review!