Exercise at home: Yoga for arm strengthening and shoulder pain

Yoga is a great tool for strengthening the upper body and strengthening the arms. It is a self-weight exercise that can be practiced almost anywhere. Yoga asanas aimed at strengthening the arms and shoulders will help sculpt the muscles and promote proper posture. Often neglected by women, the shoulders are important muscle plexuses that need to be stretched and strengthened, especially to relieve the pain and tension that often arises in this area.

Exercises to strengthen the arms and shoulders

Downward facing dog

Starting position: begin in a prone position. Place your hands on the mat and lift your hips up. The highest point should be the glutes. Keep your legs, arms and back straight, feet resting flat on the mat, feet facing forward horizontally. Hands should be shoulder width apart and feet should be hip width apart.

Execution: in the downward dog position, with a breath, reach one leg out and lift it so that it is flush with the back and arms. Be sure to keep your back straight and not to roll your hips or shoulders. Pull the foot of the raised leg towards the shin (fajfka), with the toes pointing towards the ground. Stay in the position as long as you are comfortable. Repeat on both sides five times.


A simple but effective exercise that also engages the muscles of the back, mid-body, buttocks and legs. The plank is a great exercise not only for beginners but also for experienced athletes.

Starting position: from the downward facing dog position, move into a plank.

Execution: wrists, elbow and shoulders are in one plane perpendicular to the mat, fingers of hands spread apart, thumbs pointing towards each other. Feet are hip-width apart, resting on toes. Heels, hips and shoulders also in one plane, head and neck in extension of spine. Take care to activate the abdominal muscles, tighten the muscles of the buttocks, legs and arms. Try to stay in the position as long as possible, after a short relaxation repeat three times.


Starting position: plank

Execution: tighten the entire middle of the body, buttocks and legs. With an exhale, extend your shoulders slightly in front of your wrists and move into a low push-up, with your head and shoulders pulled forward so that your forearms are perpendicular to the ground. The elbows touch the sides of the chest. The body should be in one plane. Hold the pose for 5 calm breaths. Repeat three times.

If this position is too heavy for you, you can place your knees on the mat to distribute the weight.

Side plank

A variation of the traditional side plank, the Kashyapa Asana requires you to concentrate on maintaining your balance

Starting position: sitting with legs extended

Execution: from seated position, move to lying upright on the right side. The right arm is perpendicular under the shoulder, the left arm rests on the left hip, the legs are on top of each other. With a breath, stand up and lift the pelvis as high as possible off the mat, legs still stretched. Bring your left arm behind your back, bent at the elbow, and at the same time bend (lift) your left leg. The head, torso and raised leg should be in the same plane. The weight should be distributed between the palm of the right hand and the outer sole of the right foot. Hold your breath and stay in this position as long as you are comfortable. Exhaling, return to the starting position. Do the exercise three times on both sides.

Exercises to improve mobility and shoulder relaxation

Raising the shoulders

This very simple but effective exercise will help you from shoulder stiffness, especially in the morning, relaxing the muscles in the neck and shoulder girdle.

Starting position: standing slightly straddled

Execution: lift the right shoulder with an inhale and let it drop with an exhale, repeat five times on both sides.

Twist the shoulders while standing

This exercise relaxes and strengthens the brachial plexus, stretches the chest muscles and relaxes the neck.

Starting position: standing slightly staggered

Execution: slowly circle both shoulders at the same time. Perform large circular movements. Keep the arms relaxed throughout the exercise. First circle forward five times, then repeat the movement in the opposite direction.

Standing Swimming

Again, a very simple exercise, especially suitable for beginners and for advanced swimmers it serves as a great warm up or stretch after the exercise. It strengthens arm and shoulder muscles and stiffens the thoracic spine. Stretches the chest muscles and helps against round back.

Starting position: standing slightly straddle

Execution: bend arms and place thumbs on shoulders, elbows raised to shoulder height, pointing to the sides. Exhaling, extend your arms forward, palms facing the ground. Inhaling, turn the palms outwards and bring the arms in a large arc to the shoulders, still in line with the shoulders, bend the elbows and bring the thumbs to the shoulders again. Repeat five times. With a sigh, tighten and continue five times in the opposite direction.

Chest expansion

This exercise strengthens the muscles of the arms, shoulders and back. It is effective against a round back and stretches the pectoral muscles.

Starting position: standing slightly staggered

Execution: reach forward and turn your palms upwards, clench your hands into a fist so that your fingers encircle your thumb. Bend your arms at the elbows and press your forearms together. With a sigh, flex your arms and push back as far as you can, keeping your upper arms in line with your shoulders. With an exhale, extend again, repeating the movement five times, slowly in line with the breath.

Circle the shoulders

This exercise improves shoulder joint mobility and blood circulation. It releases tension in the shoulder and trapezius muscles and deepens the breath.

Starting position: sitting with legs extended, back straight and relaxed, hands on thighs

Execution: hold the arms and place the fingertips on the shoulders. Place your fingertips on your thumbs and elbows in a large circle. Inhale when the elbows are behind the body and the chest is so open, exhale when the elbows are in front of the body where they touch. Continue circling in one direction until you have described five circles, then change the direction of the circles.

Exercises for shoulder and neck pain

Pain in the shoulders, trapezius and neck is very uncomfortable and can also cause headaches and migraines. The most common causes of this pain are muscle strain, prolonged sitting, incorrect posture and stress.


This exercise stretches and relaxes the muscles along the spine, promotes digestion and relieves menstrual pain.

Starting position: sitting on heels (vajra asana)

Execution: from sitting on heels, rise to a kneeling position with an inhale, stretch and move to a kneeling position on all fours with an exhale. The shoulders, elbows and wrists are in one plane perpendicular to the ground. The palms and fingers are pressed firmly against the mat. The hips and knees are also above each other in one plane, perpendicular to the ground. With an exhale, arch the spine and do a “cat-back”. Bend the head and look towards the navel. Inhale and arch the spine, moving from the tailbone. Bend your head, and try to look at the ceiling, with your abdominal muscles relaxed. Repeat the movements three times, following the breath. With the last breath, go into a kneeling position, and with the exhalation again into a sitting position on the heels.

Relaxing the neck

This exercise relaxes the neck, neck and shoulder area.

Starting position: sitting with legs extended

Execution: rest hands behind the body, fingertips pointing backwards, arms remain extended and shoulders relaxed. Exhaling, slowly lower the head to the left shoulder, inhale and slowly raise it to the middle position, exhale and let it fall to the right shoulder, inhale and raise it again to the starting position. Repeat five times on both sides.

With an exhale, slowly bend the head vertebra by vertebra until the chin touches the sternum. With an inhalation, lift the head and come slowly into a curve, gaze directed upwards. If you have cervical spine problems, skip the bend.

Rotate the head while lying down

Last exercise of the routine. It relaxes the whole body and loosens the neck and shoulders.

Starting position: lying on the back

Execution: relax, keep your legs slightly apart. Keep your hands and elbows above shoulder level, do not raise your shoulders to your ears. Slowly turn your head to the right with an exhale, to the middle position with an inhale, to the left with an exhale. Perform the movement smoothly five times on both sides.

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