Yoga to Increase Hand, Wrist, and Finger Strength

Props. One yoga block. One sandbag. 

Pranayama. Inhale and exhale through the nostrils. Practice gentle, easy breaths. One cycle includes one inhalation and one exhalation. Pause for a moment after each inhalation and exhalation. 

3 Parts to Pose. Enter the pose mindfully. Be in the pose mindfully. Exit a pose mindfully. 

Intricacies in the Pose. There are many beautiful intricacies in each pose. These are included as an invitation so that you connect with your core muscles through your hands and fingers. Ultimately, the intricacies of the poses create strength, flexibility, and power in your body so that you experience deeper releases and more core energy flow. 

Caution. Listen to your body. Only practice poses that feel right to you. Only practice as long as what feels right for you. If your hands, wrists, or fingers hurt in any of these poses, try placing a sandbag underneath your hands.

Individual Yoga Lesson. Feel free to contact me to set up an individual yoga lesson. 

Athletic Myth. Strong arms means you have developed upper core strength. I wish this were so, but unfortunately, it’s not always true. Through cross-training with yoga I  teach you ways to engage the muscles in your hands, wrists, and arms so that you can access your upper core muscles, particularly the strength in your upper spine and shoulder blades. Breathing is another component of developing upper core strength because it utilizes the engagement of the belly, diaphragm, and lungs. 

Yoga Tip. Place the yoga block between your upper inner thighs in any of these poses. Squeeze the block in. The block is a teaching tool to help you stabilize your back.  

  1. Mountain. Take your arms up and bring your hands together. Look upwards, keep your eyes soft, and dome backwards 10 times. 
  2. Mountain. Take your arms up and bring your hands together. Dome side to side adding a slight twist towards your midline. Practice 3 times on each side. Stay strong in your feet and  legs. 
  3. Mountain. Take your arms up, interlock your fingers, and turn your palms inside out. Squeeze the block. Stay in the pose for 5 breath cycles. Release the interlock and take your hands down by your hips. 
  4. Mountain. Take your arms up, interlock your fingers the second way, and turn your palms inside out. Squeeze the block. Stay in the pose 5 breath cycles. Release the interlock and take your hands down by your hips. 
  5. Mountain. Squeeze the block to stabilize your back. Outstretch your arms to the side,  shoulder height. Rhythmically twist the torso side to side, 5-10 times. Inhale and exhale though the nostrils during the twist. 
  6. Mountain. Outstretch your arms to the side, shoulder height. Outstretch your fingers. Externally rotate your upper arms by turning your palms upward. Then, internally rotate your forearms by turning your palms down. Squeeze the block. Hold the pose for 5-10 breath cycles. Bring the hands down next to your hips.  Repeat 3 times. On the last pose, inhale and take your arms upward and bring your hands together. On your exhalation, bring your hands to your heart. 
  7. Forward Bend. Fold forward at your hips. Place your hands either on the mat, shins, or thighs. Relax your head. With your hands connected, draw your shoulder blades away from your ears. Squeeze the block to assist your hips to release. Squeeze the block and slowly return to Mountain. 
  8. Forward Bend. In forward bend, place your hands underneath your shoulders, and if your hands touch the mat, come onto your fingertips. Otherwise, place your hands on your shins or thighs. Create a concave upper back by lifting your neck and head, externally rotating the upper arms, squeezing the block to engage your abdominal muscles, and relaxing the spinal area between your shoulder blades. Hold the pose for 5 breath cycles. Squeeze the block and slowly return to Mountain. 
  9. Incline/Plank (push-up) with mini push-ups. Point your elbows back during the mini push-ups. Squeeze the block to engage your abdominal muscles. If your wrists hurt in this pose, place a sandbag under your hands. Practice 10 mini push-ups. Drop down onto all fours. Repeat 3 times. 
  10. Upward Facing Dog. Set up in Incline pose and descend toward the mat to Upward Facing Dog. Squeeze the block to engage your abdominal muscles. If your wrists hurt in this pose, place a sandbag under your hands. Return to Downward Facing Dog. Drop down onto all fours. Repeat 3 times. 
  11. Downward Facing Dog. In Downward Facing Dog, lift your first leg up and hold. Keep your hips as level as possible. Step the lifted leg forward to Front Warrior. 
  12. Front Warrior. In Front Warrior, drop the back knee onto the mat, take the arms up, and dome backwards. Place your hands onto the mat, next to the front foot. Step back to Downward Facing Dog.  
  13. Downward Facing Dog. In Downward Facing Dog, lift the second leg up and hold. Keep your hips as level as possible. Place your hands onto the mat, next to the front foot. Step the lifted leg forward to Front Warrior. 
  14. Front Warrior. In Front Warrior, drop the back knee onto the mat, take the arms up, and dome backwards. Step back to Downward Facing Dog. Drop onto all fours. Repeat the Front Warrior – Downward Facing Dog Series 10 times. 
  15. Downward Facing Dog. In Downward Facing Dog, lift the first leg upward. Step the lifted leg forward to Lizard pose. 
  16. Lizard Pose (deep Front Warrior). Drop the back leg onto the mat. Keep the front shin vertical. Stay on your hands or descend onto your elbows for a deeper stretch. Stay in Lizard for 5-10 breath cycles. Return to Downward Facing Dog and lift the second leg upward. Step the lifted leg forward to Lizard pose. Repeat on the second side. 
  17. Incline/Plank (push-up) with mini push-ups. Point your elbows back during the mini push-ups. Squeeze the block to engage your abdominal muscles. If your wrists hurt in this pose, place a sandbag under your hands. Practice 10 mini push-ups. Drop down onto all fours. Repeat 3 times. 
  18. Upward Facing Dog. Set up in Incline pose and descend toward the mat to Upward Facing Dog. Squeeze the block to engage your abdominal muscles. If your wrists hurt in this pose, place a sandbag under your hands. Return to Downward Facing Dog. Drop down onto all fours. Repeat 3 times.
  19. Kneeling Table (all fours). In Kneeling Table place the hands slightly in front of the shoulders and place the knees under the hips. Lift the opposite arm and opposite leg and extend. Hold the pose for 5-10 breath cycles. Repeat the pose on the opposite side. 
  20. Side Plank. Position yourself into Side Plank with your top leg stacked on top of your lower leg. Place your lower arm and hand under your shoulder. Extend your upper arm. Hold the pose for 5-10 breath cycles. Repeat on the second side. 
  21. Downward Facing Dog. Practice Downward Facing Dog with the block between your inner, upper thighs. 
  22. Incline/Plank (push-up) with mini push-ups. Point your elbows back during the mini push-ups. Squeeze the block to engage your abdominal muscles. If your wrists hurt in this pose, place a sandbag under your hands. Practice 10 mini push-ups. Drop down onto all fours. Repeat 3 times. 
  23. Locust Pose (belly pose). Place the sandbag lengthwise near the top of the mat. Lay down on your belly in Locust pose and position the sandbag at your diaphragm (lower rib cage). Place the block between your inner upper thighs to help you engage your abdominal muscles. Outstretch your arms to the side, shoulder height. Externally rotate the upper arms. Rotate the palms facing downward to create internal rotation at the forearm. Extend through your fingers. Extend through both legs. Dome upwards by lifting the belly, diaphragm, upper spine, neck and head. Hold the pose for 5-10 breath cycles. Relax between each pose. Repeat 3 times. 
  24. Downward Facing Dog. Return onto all fours and go into Downward Facing Dog. Out of Downward Facing Dog, walk your hands back towards your feet to return to a Forward Bend. 
  25. Forward Bend. Fold forward at your hips. Place your hands either on the mat, shins, or thighs. Relax your head. With your hands connected, draw your shoulder blades away from your ears. Squeeze the block to assist your hips to release. Squeeze the block and slowly return to Mountain. 
  26. Forward Bend. In forward bend, place your hands underneath your shoulders and if your hands touch the mat, come onto your fingertips. Otherwise place your hands on your shins or thighs.  Create a concave upper back by lifting your neck and head, externally rotating the upper arms, squeezing the block to engage your abdominal muscles, and relaxing the spinal area between your shoulder blades. Hold pose for 5 breath cycles.   
  27. Forward Bend. In Forward Bend, squeeze the block, and slowly move your torso so that it is parallel with the earth. Place your hands on your hips and point your elbows back.  As you exit the pose, squeeze the block to help you engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your lower back. Stay strong in your legs. 
  28. Mountain. Slowly return to Mountain, look upwards, keep your eyes soft, and take your arms up over your head and bring your hands together. 
  29. Descend your hands to your heart. Namaste

 

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