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10 Moves That Will Strengthen Your Upper Body And Core

Get your body ready to do a headstand, handstand, and Crow Pose in no time.

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If you want to do a headstand or handstand, you're going to have to get strong enough first.

If your core and upper body aren't strong enough to do the moves, and your body isn't flexible enough, it's extremely easy to injure yourself, Jess Blake, yoga instructor at YogaWorks NYC, tells BuzzFeed Life.

To get you there, Blake recommended a few moves that will help your strength and flexibility. She says you should do three sets (amount indicated below) of them three times a week. You can also just add a few of these moves to your regular workout routine, too. The goal is to get stronger in your core and upper body.

You'll know you're ready to attempt an inverted yoga pose when you can do a hold pose for one to two minutes at a time. That can mean a Forearm Plank, Downward Dog, and Dolphin Pose, to name a few.

1. Knee to Chest

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Bring your knee to your chest, then to your tricep, and then toward your opposite tricep, five times with each leg. This strengthens your arms, shoulders, core, and hip flexors. Do three reps.

2. Half Boat Pose

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Make sure to keep your arms straight and your chest lifted throughout the move. This move strengthens your core, hip flexors, and spinal muscles. Do three reps of 15 poses.

3. Full Boat Pose

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Keep your chest lifted, with your arms and legs as straight as possible. Do three reps of 15 poses.

4. Leg Lifts

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Keep your legs locked and your arms straight overhead. This move strengthens your core and hip flexors. Do three reps of 15 lifts.

5. Dolphin Pose

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Keep your elbows shoulder distance apart and lengthen your spine as you push up through your feet. Try to hold the position for one to two minutes at a time.

6. Towel Slides

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Slide your knees to your chest and then to both triceps. Do three reps of 10.

7. Downward-Facing Dog

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Try to keep your arms and legs as straight as possible and practice holding for one to two minutes.

8. Child's Pose

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Reach forward and extend through your spine. This move stretches the lower back and arms. Hold for one to two minutes.

9. Wide-Legged Foward Fold

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With your hands interlaced behind your back, extend your arms and lean forward, keeping your chest straight. Try to hold for one to two minutes, and if you can't, you can build up to it.

10. Wall Triceps Stretch

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Make sure to keep your hips, shoulders, and head in a straight line perpendicular to your legs. Try holding for one to two minutes.

This is the payoff once you master the poses and build the strength!

Shannon Rosenberg / BuzzFeed
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