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Tree Pose Shoulder Workout

To combine a yoga pose with an arm workout, make like a tree and leave - except have some light hand weights as your leaves! Choose a set of weights that are relatively light and that you can do a lot of repetitions with, but that is still challenging. Do a full set of either 8 or 16 of each movement.

Grab a set of light weights, then stand straight up and shift your weight into one leg. Lift the other leg off the ground and place the sole of your foot on the inside of your standing thigh, or as high as is comfortable. Avoid placing it directly on your knee, because this could cause injury. To modify for balance, keep your lifted foot low, resting it on your ankle or calf. If you ever feel that you are losing your balance, gently step the lifted foot down.

Lift your arms up into an “L” shape with the palms down, with the same arm as your standing leg straight out in front of you, and the other arm out to the side - the arms should track over your knees. Keeping your shoulders rolled down and back, lift and lower your arms down towards the floor, and back up to shoulder height.

After a set, hold the arms up at shoulder height, then take the lifting movement to just a few inches up and down. Flip your palms to face in, and continue. Next, take small circles of the arms for a set, then reverse the direction.

Flip the palms up to the ceiling and take small lifts here. Then, getting into a bit of bicep engagement, draw the elbows down a few inches, then straighten your arms back out.

For the final position, bend your elbows so your arms make 90 degree angles, keeping the “L” shape with your upper arms. Using both your chest and shoulder muscles, bring your side elbow in towards the front elbow. Be careful not to let your shoulders hunch up toward your ears, especially as your muscles get fatigued. It’s best to maintain proper form, so if you need to switch to a lighter set of weights or drop the weights entirely, that’s ok! You will still work your muscles well. To finish, hold your arms bent and in the “L” position, or straighten back into the full “L” for a count of 8!

Then, you get to do it all over again on the other side for symmetry!


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