I'm pretty confident as I ease through my yoga flow — that is, until I hit Chaturanga pose. As I try to gracefully lower myself to the floor, my shaky arms almost always give out.
According to Sophie Jaffe, a certified yoga instructor and owner of Philosophie, the foundational yoga pose is all about using strength from your core while activating leg-and-arm balance. I figured a new strength-training routine would do some good, so with that, Jaffe offered up some core and tricep-focussed moves that can be done at home, in the gym, or on the go. Hopefully now my Sun Salutations will be seamless the next time I'm in the studio.
Grip the edges of a stable bench or chair about shoulder-length apart.
Hover just off and in front of your seat, keeping your feet flat and legs bent or legs extended for more intensity.
Straighten your arms with a slight bend to keep tension away from your elbow joints and onto your triceps. This is your start position.
Bend your elbows and lower your body until your arms form about a 90-degree angle.
Then, engage your triceps and push back up to the start position. This is one rep.
Keep your shoulders down as you raise and lower, and keep your back close to the bench or chair.
Aim for three sets of 10-15 reps.
Begin on the floor on your hands and knees.
Place your hands directly under your shoulders.
Step your feet back one at a time with your toes flexed. Your hands and toes should entirely support the weight of your body.
For stability and a modification, bring your feet a bit wider apart. Intensify the pose by bringing them closer together.
Keep a straight line from your heels to your back and up through the top of your head.
Activate your core and tighten your entire midsection.
Hold for 20-60 seconds, and don't forget to breathe.
Repeat for a total of three planks. As you get stronger, aim to do the plank for longer than a minute.
Begin in a plank position with your arms straight.
Keep your shoulders over your wrists to avoid injury and maintain a straight line throughout your body.
Engage your core, and don't let your hips sag.
Slowly bend your elbows until they reach about a 90-degree angle and lower your chest toward the floor.
Then, press back up into the starting plank position.
Aim to complete three sets of 8-10 reps.
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Image Source: Getty / BJI / Blue Jean Images