Yoga + strength ARMS

by Kim on October 23, 2013

I used to think I was born to have flabby arms. Like it was just where my body wanted to carry weight, and there was nothing I could do about it. I hated working on my arms because I felt like I never saw results—and what was the point of having strong muscles if you couldn’t see them? (Or am I just that vain?)

Then, I lost a few pounds, gained some (visible!!) muscle, and was like, “Holy crap. Biceps?? TRICEPS?? These actually look kinda good. So this is POSSIBLE?”

(Secretly, when I look back at some of my wedding photos, I can’t help thinking, “Dang, I wish I would have figured this arm thing out sooner!”)

Now, I legitimately love working my arms, and I notice and appreciate other women’s strong arms all the time. (Is that weird?) Some people can never work out a day in their lives and be thin, but you can’t have strong, toned arms without putting a little something into it. I like that—that it means something.

So today, as promised, I bring you:

Yoga Strength 3

This is my second attempt at a “yoga fit” inspired workout. I’ve been loving doing this one in the living room, particularly during The Voice (aka my new obsession…CAN. NOT. STOP. WATCHING).

If you get a chance to try this out, I’d love to hear what you think!

Yoga Strength 4

Descriptions of Moves

You’ll need one or more sets of 3-10 lb. weights. I use 5ers throughout, but you might prefer switching up heavier and lighter weights for certain moves.

Spaghetti sauce jars or what-have-you’s can work in a pinch too! :)

Sumo squat punches (x 30): Hold a deep sumo squat position while punching forward, alternating arms. Activate your biceps and suck in your belly button. Don’t you dare phone in those punches! :) (For extra credit, hold your weights while you punch.)

V-flies (x 12-15): Grab a weight in each hand and lay on the floor. Slowly lift your legs to 45 degrees while your arms squeeze up in a fly and your shoulders come off the floor.


Upside down plank with tricep dips (x 12-15): Still on your back, lift up onto your hands with your body in a straight line, creating a triangle with the ground (upside-down plank). Your elbows should be facing behind you, hands pointing forward. Slooowly bend your elbows, just a little bit, and then straighten your arms again. Activate your core to keep your body in a straight line the whole time.


(Oops! Forgot to get a pic of this one!)

Chair pose with tricep extensions (x 12-15): Stand up, grab a weight in each hand, and get into chair pose. Lift the weights over your head, press them together, and do tricep extensions.


Warrior 2 with arm extensions (x 12-15): Get into Warrior 2, holding a weight in each hand. Slowly lift the weights to the height of your shoulders and then lower them to your legs. Switch legs on the Warrior 2 and repeat.



Sumo squat back arm pulses (x 30): Get into a deep sumo squat position again. Hold your weights behind your thighs, palms facing backwards. Pinch your shoulder blades together and lift the weights behind you to the point of resistance. From there, perform small pulses in an upward direction.


Chair pose with arm flies (x 12-15): Get into chair pose again, with a weight in each hand, palms facing each other. Pull elbows backwards, pinching shoulder blades together, and then return to the front.


Hold arm flies at peak and small elbow lifts (x 12-15): Lift elbows to the point of resistance and then perform small pulses in an upward direction.

Side lunge with shoulder raises (x 12-15): Lunge to one side, focusing on pushing your butt back and keeping your knees behind toes, while simultaneously raising both weights forward to shoulder height. Alternate sides as you repeat.


Plank rows (x 12-15): Get into a regular plank position. On one side, lift your weight until your elbow is a few inches above your body. Activate your core to keep your hips parallel with the floor. Slowly lower and repeat.

plank rows

(This just describes it way better than my pictures—I gotta learn how to make these!)

Extend arm back and small lifts (x 12-15): Still in plank, straighten one arm behind you to the point of resistance, thumb pointing down. Perform small pulses in an upward direction.


Repeat plank and curls/lifts on other side.

Four-Limbed Staff Pose: Hold as long as you can!

four limb

Repeat 2-3 times!

Roll shoulders slowly and stretch.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness October 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I love your workout posts! They’re so descriptive! Got another one to pin! (and btw the last one of yours I pinned has SOOO many repins everyday, it’s CRAY!)
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Kim October 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

No waaaay! That’s awesome!

Haha, the pictures are totally embarrassing to take/post, but I’m personally very lazy about following other people’s workouts without lots of visual instruction. The biggest challenge is that I’m constantly torn between uber-picky paranoia about demonstrating perfect form and “eh–they get the idea.” So I think I end up somewhere in the middle. :)


Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat October 24, 2013 at 9:07 am

Love this! And, thanks again for showing a demonstration of each move. So helpful!
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Kim October 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Glad it’s helpful! Hope you like. :)


Presley @ Run Pretty October 24, 2013 at 5:39 am

Doing this.
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Kim October 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Loving you. :)


Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome October 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Love this! Pinning! I so need to incorporate more yoga into my workout and this is a great one!
Hope you had a wonderful first day of work!
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Em October 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I am adding this to my workouts to try list for when I have my rest weeks from bootcamp training! Thanks for sharing def need to be working on my flabby arms got a gorgeous outfit to fit into for bootcamp christmas party got to look fabulous!
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ErikaMC October 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I love working my arms, but that wasn’t always the case – once I actually started seeing results from strength training though it’s become my favorite. I totally check out and admire “strong, womanly” arms! Have you seen the arms on Lupita Nyong’o?? Amazing – I want them!


Katie October 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Yay! This is the basics of the yoga sculpt class I teach. The only thing I would warn you on is the 4 limb staff pose. If your body isn’t ready for it, it can really hurt your shoulders, and may cause more damaged than it is worth. I would maybe sub out a standard plank instead. But otherwise it looks super awesome!!
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Alex @ Alex Runs For Food October 23, 2013 at 11:43 am

Looks like a great workout!!!! Thanks for sharing!!
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Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries October 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

I am right there with you on the arms thing… I used to just accept the fact that I had flabby arms (sadly). Then I got more into weight training and realized I COULD get some muscle definition! Woot! Now I love upper body workouts because I see how much they pay off and work if done properly. This one looks like a fun one!
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Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate October 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

I am going to try this workout tonight–looks great! Also– LOVE the Voice not only because the singers are awesome, but the coaches crack me up!
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Kim October 23, 2013 at 8:37 am

Love this – pinned it to try soon!!!
Like you, I didn’t always work out my arms but for a very different reason – my arms have always been my smallest part and they were just weak and wimpy. Now I love trying to increase my arm/upper body strength.
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