Arm Poses For Women

  • Yoga poses improve flexibility and tone the muscles
  • Arm balances require core strength and stability as well as upper body power
  • The benefits of yoga extend beyond physical health
  • A short yoga flow with appropriate postures can have a significant impact

Yoga comprises different mental, physical, and spiritual practices that have a range of benefits for our overall well-being. The practice can include stretching or meditation for adults but also be used as effective exercise, or strength and mobility training.

Yoga as exercise allows you to flow into different poses that engage your muscles. With a variety of positions available, you can create a routine that works for your goals and targets specific areas of the body.

For women, yoga can be an amazing way to work on your back and upper body strength. Even advanced arm balances only rely on your body weight, so you can make great progress in terms of ability without building a bulky physique or big biceps.

Top 10 Arm Yoga Poses For Women’s Health

A lot of yoga poses – lunge variations, for example – engage the entire body, including the arm muscles. Therefore, you can tone these muscles with various poses. However, if you specifically want to target arm strength, flexibility, and balancing, you can try a specific set of exercises.

Since arm exercises rely on your hands, you may want to implement our handcare routine and tips alongside your yoga practice. Now, let’s go over our list of the best poses that beginner yogis can easily try or work their way up to.

yoga exercise

  1. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

    Downward-facing Dog, or simply downward dog, is a full-body exercise – it requires strength, flexibility, and proper alignment. The pose stretches the hamstrings, hip flexors, and back, while also strengthening your arms and shoulders.
    To do Downward Dog, your hands should be placed slightly in front of your shoulders, and your knees bent. Reach with your sit muscles towards the ceiling, and start slowly lifting your knees and extending them. The heels of your feet should be pressing towards the mat as you also extend the arms and stretch the spine.
    Hold this pose for 10 breaths or more if you’re comfortable before releasing and gently bending your knees back down.

  2. Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

    You can flow from Downward-facing Dog to Upward-facing Dog, however, you first have to bring yourself down to the mat. Place your hands by your lower ribs while you’re lying down, then make sure you extend your legs and press down with both your hands and feet.
    To get into Upward-facing Dog, straighten the arms and lift your quad muscles off the mat. Draw your shoulders back, bring your chest forward, and slightly tilt your head upwards so that the neck continues the curve created by the spine.
    For an easier variation, you can start with a cobra pose. In this case, you’ll want to keep your legs and hips on the floor, while your elbows will remain slightly bent.

  3. Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana or Phalakasana)

    The Plank is the most famous of all the yoga power poses. These exercises go beyond stretches and present a considerable challenge to perform. Plank is also one of the best arm-strengthening yoga poses that allows you to build strength and stamina, and move on to more complex movements.
    The pose is fairly simple to grasp, however, it’s difficult to hold while maintaining proper form. Your body should remain straight, and you need to support your lower back while not letting it fall. Start by holding the pose for 10-20 seconds, building up to a minute.

  4. Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

    The Side Plank pose works your arms, shoulders, and wrists, however, it also targets the legs, core, and obliques. To do a Side Plank, start from a regular Plank pose and hold your arms so that the wrists are in front of your shoulders.
    Place your right foot on top of your left, and shift your body weight so that you’re balancing only on your left hand. Bring your right hand to your side, or hold it up towards the ceiling. Fully extend your body and hold on the left side for a few breaths.
    As you release, go back into a plank and repeat the movement on the other side. If this seems too difficult, work on building more upper body strength before attempting the pose. Alternatively, try moving from a Forearm Plank to a Forearm Side Plank pose.

  5. Crow Pose (Kakasana)

    The Crow pose, or Kakasana, is one of the easiest arm balance poses to achieve and the first one you should aim for if you’re a beginner yogi. It requires less upper-body strength than other positions and is fairly straightforward to get down as long as you practice.
    Start in a squat and place your palms a bit in front of your feet. Bring your knees forward and around your shoulders, pressing them to your upper arms. You can use your triceps to balance the legs as you continue to reach forward with your chest.

While the crow pose keeps the elbows slightly bent, another variation, the crane pose (Bakasana) involves straightening your arms as much as possible. In this case, you can’t balance using your triceps, so try to bring the knees further toward the armpits.

Crop person crossing legs and leaning on hands

  1. Side Crow (Parsva Bakasana)

    To do the Side Crow pose, you want to start in a squat and place your hands firmly on the mat. Your knees should be turned to one side as you perch your outer thigh onto your upper arm. You want to move into this position before you lift your feet off the floor.
    Finally, hold the pose for 3-5 breaths and lower your feet back down. Then, repeat on the other side. You can place your thigh on both arms or just on one.
    From Side Crow, you can transition into Eka Pada and add a bit more difficulty to your routine. To do this, get into position, then extend the bottom leg out and the top leg back.

  2. Scale Pose (Tolasana)

    To get into the Scale pose, start off sitting on your mat and fold your legs into Lotus. If you can’t do this, start from an Easy Seat pose. Then, place your hands behind the hips, have your fingers spread wide, and try to lift your body off the ground.
    This isn’t a particularly difficult position to balance, but you do need substantial body strength to get yourself off the mat. If you can’t do this pose yet, try practicing while sitting on a chair, or place blocks under each palm to get off the ground easier.

  3. Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

    A handstand, also called a downward-facing tree pose, helps further develop the shoulders, back, and abdomen. It’s one of the most well-known and popular yoga arm balances.
    Most beginners aren’t comfortable going straight into a handstand. To prepare for the pose, you can make sure you master some other movements that target the same muscle groups like Plank, Side Plank, Boat pose, and L handstand with support.
    While a freestanding handstand is impressive enough on its own, it’s also a stepping stone to some more complicated and extremely impressive yoga arm balances.

  4. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

    The Four-limbed Staff pose engages your entire upper body, and you’ll likely already need some basic development in your shoulders and arms, core strength, as well as wrist and ankle endurance.
    To get into Four-limbed Staff, start with a plank. Ensure your hands are placed directly below the shoulders, have your arms parallel to one another, and keep your fingers spread wide. Then gently lower your body into a push-up position and hold for 10-30 seconds. To avoid stress on your wrists, try to use your upper arms and shoulder muscles for support.
    If you still don’t have enough strength to support your body, try an easier variation – do the exercise with your knees on the yoga mat.

  5. Feathered Peacock Pose (Pincha Mayurasana)

    A Feathered Peacock improves your forearm strength and balance, but it’s also a good pose to improve circulation. Start with your forearms on the mat and step in with one foot. Sweep the other leg up and kick both feet off of the mat. Straighten your legs and hold for 10-15 seconds. As you progress, you will be able to stay in the position for longer.
    If you’re working your way up to Feathered Peacock, practice Dolphin pose and wall-assisted forearm balancing.

Killer Benefits Of Arm Poses

These yoga postures help strengthen and tone your arms, but they also engage other parts of the body, specifically your back and core muscles. Therefore, arm yoga poses have heaps of benefits including:

  • Toned body – arm exercises involve controlled movements that improve strength and balance, creating an impressive physique over time;
  • A healthy mind – the advantages of yoga don’t end with physical well-being. The practice may also protect against cognitive decline, and available literature indicates that it positively affects brain health;
  • Chronic pain relief – yoga exercises, including many of the mentioned arm exercises, have shown promise as an effective complementary treatment for chronic lower back pain. Keep in mind that if you do suffer from any pains, consult with a physician before attempting any exercises as treatment solutions;
  • Improved confidence – yoga promotes mental well-being, but it also allows you to work towards and achieve physical goals. Managing to do more complicated yoga arm balances can be a serious self-esteem boost;
  • Better development – The earlier you start caring for your body, the better, and there are plenty of baby yoga poses that help youngsters get a head start. Arm balances aren’t just a great way to build muscle in adults, but also help developing children grow into healthier bodies.

Woman Doing Yoga


1) Can Yoga Stretch Help to Reduce Fat Arms?

Yes, yoga exercises can result in fat reduction. Poses that specifically target the arms also help build muscle and further tone that area.

2) What Are Some Arm Exercises That Help Women Get Rid of Bat Wings?

Targeted exercises that work out the triceps can help get rid of so-called bat wings. These include Plank, Four-limbed Staff Pose, Upward-facing Dog, Scale pose, and other arm balances.

3) Can You Suggest Some Arm Poses for Women to Do During Breaks While Working From Home?

Remote workers can move their upper body by doing overhead reaches, Downward Dog, and Chaturanga. These poses can all be adjusted to be done at the desk area, but if you have more time and space, you can roll out a mat to do a quick yoga routine.

4) Do Arm Poses for Pregnant Women Help to Maintain Good Posture and Reduce Shoulder Tension?

Prenatal yoga mainly focuses on the lower body, but arm poses can also be beneficial. However, there is a limited amount of suitable exercises. Avoid extremely difficult arm balances and ones heavily targeting the abdominal area – stick to stretching or doing assisted variations of certain postures.

5) What Are Some Arm Poses That Can Help Women Calm Down and Relieve Stress?

To calm down, women can incorporate relaxing arm poses like Upward-facing Dog and a progression from Downward Dog to Child’s pose.

6) How Can Women Incorporate Arm Poses Into Their Daily Exercise Routine to Tone Their Arms?

A quick yoga flow of only 10-15 minutes a day can make a huge difference over time. Focus on arm poses and balances and build an appropriate flow around them.

Share to

The Author

Scroll to Top