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-focused moves that can be done at home, in the gym, or on the go.
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.
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.