Upper Body Yoga Poses – 5 ways to Improve Arm Strength

I started yoga as an experiment to see if it would improve my running. As I researched and learned more about the practice I was surprised to learn of all the benefits. I was also surprised by how hard some of the poses were! I was quickly alerted to just how weak my upper body was. My legs have benefited from running but my arms? They are still a work in progress! I can’t yet accomplish the harder poses so here is a collection of 5 upper body yoga poses that even beginners with weak arms (like me!) can achieve.

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Upper Body Yoga Poses to Improve your Arm Strength

Downward Dog


Downward Dog is probably one of the best-known yoga poses around. Even people who know nothing about yoga tend to recognize this pose. Down Dog provides many benefits including a full body stretch and relief of tension. This pose is great for strengthening your wrists and stretching your shoulders.

When you are just starting out you might want to do this pose with slightly bent knees, especially if you happen to have tight hamstrings. Downward Dog is a pose which looks easy but might be difficult until you gain more strength and flexibility. Remember to only push yourself as far as you can comfortably handle.


upper body yoga poses - plank pose
Plank Pose

Plank pose is another well-known pose. It is an exercise that is included in most workout routines to some degree and can be difficult to hold when you first start out. Plank pose works wonders for toning your abs and improving your upper body strength.

Plank pose has been reported to help improve posture by strengthening the muscles of your back. It is a good pose to practice in preparation for harder arm balancing poses down the road. Although this pose looks simple it can be difficult to hold for extended periods. It is suggested that you start with only a few seconds and slowly lengthen the time as you gain strength.

Upward Dog

upper body yoga poses - upward Dog
Upward Dog

Upward Dog is another well-known pose which is reported to help improve our posture. This is especially important for those of us who spend a lot of time hunched over our computer screens. Upward Dog is a pose which tones almost the entire body, it is especially good for your wrists, arms, and spine.

When practicing this pose make sure you don’t let your shoulders creep up towards your ears, make an effort to keep them low and expand your ribs. If you have trouble keeping your thighs raised off the mat feel free to use a rolled blanket to help support them.

Reverse Table Pose

upper body yoga - reverse table pose
Reverse Table pose

Reverse table pose is another great pose to counteract sitting in front of a computer all day. This pose helps to stretch the front side of your body including your chest and core muscles. Practicing Reverse Table Pose will help to strengthen your wrists, shoulders, legs, and back muscles.

Reverse Table Pose will help with balance and posture but is simple enough that most people can manage it without too much difficulty when first starting out. When first trying this pose it is important to listen to your body, never force your hips higher then they can comfortably go. Yoga is not about getting every pose perfect right from the start! If this pose hurts your wrists you might consider purchasing a wedge to help support them.

Thread the Needle Pose

upper body yoga - thread the needle
Thread the Needle pose

Although this pose might look slightly complicated it’s actually very easy once you understand it. Thread the Needle is a good pose for stretching your shoulders and upper arms. It is a good pose for releasing tension after a long day at work or a hard exercise routine. This pose has been reported to help with the relief of back and shoulder pain and is easy enough that most beginners can accomplish it without any trouble.



Upper Body Yoga Poses for Strong Arms #yoga #exercise #fitness #healthyliving< />
Upper Body Yoga Poses for Strong Arms #yoga #exercise #fitness #healthylivingUpper Body Yoga Poses for Strong Arms #yoga #exercise #fitness #healthyliving< />


  1. I definitely need to include a few of these poses when I do yoga. Thread the needle looks hilarious but also could be good for my shoulders which are always bothering me these days.

    1. Author

      Thread the needle feels pretty hilarious when you’re doing it and getting your picture taken. But then a lot of the yoga poses do haha! It does feel awesome if you have tight shoulders though and I tend to carry a lot of tension in my shoulders so it really helps.

  2. Love Yoga, these poses are great for your arms and core, and legs, pretty much your whole body! well that’s what I find anyway

    1. Author

      They really are. Most of the poses seem to work multiple muscle groups which I think it great. Like multitasking exercises haha

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