If you are working on arm balances or inversions, you may already know that it takes not only a lot of arm strength but also core, shoulders, and hip flexors.
These 6 quick exercises will help you to build strength in the upper body to help you reach your goals. As they only take about 5 minutes, I recommend doing them daily to see progress.
1. Block Crawl – Start at the back of the mat, sitting on your heels. Point the toes back behind you. Place blocks on either side of your knees on their lowest level. Spread the fingers wide. Push into the blocks to lift your self up. Move forward, then lower down. Move the blocks forward. Repeat, all the way to the top of your mat. Then reverse backwards to the bottom.
2. Hip Lifts – Extend the legs out in front of you, placing the blocks alongside the hips. Push into the palms to lift the hips up off of the mat. Lower down. Repeat 10 times.
3. Leg Lifts – Keep hands as they are. Point the toes. Lift and extend up through chest. Lift the right leg up, then lower it down. Do this times. Then switch legs.
4. Hip and Leg Lifts – With all toes pointed, push into the blocks to lift the hips up off the mat. Lift the right leg up. Hold. Lower it down. Lift the left leg up. Hold. Lower it down. Repeat 3 times.
5. Cross Legged Lift – Cross at the ankles, with right in front of left. Push and lift the hips up off the mat. Lift the right leg up as well, maybe also the left one. Hold as you count to 5. Lower down, switch the cross, and repeat.
6. Reverse Bridge – Keep the hands on the blocks. Bend your knees and bring your feet in front. Press into the heels to lift the hips up as high as you can. Exhale, to straighten the legs and send the hips back. Inhale back up to reverse table. Repeat a few times. On the final round, as the legs extend and hips go back, see if you can also lift the feet up in L sit.
Prefer to be walked through with step by step visual cues the first time through? Press play on the 5 minute sequence below.