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3 Yoga Poses for Upper Body Strength

The 3 Yoga Poses you need for building strength and muscle mass.

I get a lot of questions on how I can maintain upper-body mass. It’s actually pretty simple. There are a few exercises that do the trick quite well, and you can knock out a great upper body workout using yoga moves in less than 15 minutes. (Seriously.)

Remember that muscle mass comes from moving slowly and deliberately; not quickly. Holding the poses for as long as possible (until failure, as long as you don’t keep pushing after your core fails), will get you the best results. Here they are: Yoga poses for upper body strength!

1) Plank and Half Push-up

These are full-body exercises that focus on proper core engagement while testing your core strength and upper body endurance. A good way to work on upper body strength is to do multiple sets of planks and half push-ups, either through holding the half push-up for an extended period of time (start at 10 seconds and build to 60 seconds) or through moving slowly from high plank to half push-up (essentially, doing slow push-ups).

Yoga Poses for Upper Body Strength - Half Hold

2) Dolphin

Dolphin is fantastic for your shoulders. It is probably one of the most difficult poses for men, because of the shoulder mobility that it requires, but it will set your shoulders on fire, and really helps with building up the muscle around your shoulders and upper back.

Yoga Poses for Upper Body Strength - Dolphin

3) Side plank

What’s harder than plank? Holding yourself up with one arm instead. Side plank is a great way for you to use your body weight resistance to build up your upper body strength from the side, rather than straight on (as you would in plank). It adds variety and works different muscles than in high plank. It is also a fantastic exercise for your core.
Here’s a good way for you to knock out all of these in less than 15 minutes.
Yoga Poses for Upper Body Strength - Side Plank

How Long to Hold Each Pose

Plank – 30 seconds, build up to 90 seconds
Half push-up – 15 seconds, build up to 60 seconds
Dolphin – 15 seconds, build up to 45 seconds
Side plank – 15 seconds, build up to 45 seconds
Downdog for rest (or just do nothing!) – 60 seconds

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Additional Resources

About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.

Dean Pohlman is an E-RYT 200 certified yoga instructor and the founder of Man Flow Yoga. Dean is widely considered to be an authority on Yoga for Men. He has worked with physical therapists to create yoga programs for back health and spinal recovery. His workouts and programs have been used by professional and collegiate athletes, athletic trainers, and personal trainers; and have been recommended by physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals.

Dean is a successfully published author through DK Publishing (Yoga Fitness for Men), selling 35,000 copies worldwide in English, French, and German; in addition to being a co-producer of the Body by Yoga DVD Series, which has sold over 40,000 copies on Amazon since its release in 2016.

Man Flow Yoga has been featured in Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Mens’ Health, The Chicago Sun, New York Magazine, and many more major news media outlets.

Dean And Dog

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