Knowing the best yoga poses for strengthening your core helps you tone your muscles and progress to more advanced levels of yoga.
Not many yoga poses can be done without the help and access of your core. Your abdomen is home to an incredible amount of power, and when regularly engaged and properly worked, it can help you reach new levels in your practice. The following poses can help you tone, strengthen and find power in your center. Practice each pose individually, or link them together for a dynamic, ab-blasting sequence. Below are some suggested poses and movement exercises.
Yoga for strong core:
From hands and knees, place your forearms and palms on the floor. Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders and your upper arms are vertical. Walk your feet back, keeping your legs and pelvis in line with your shoulders. Gently draw your front ribs and lower belly back toward your spine. Dig your toe pads into the floor as you reach from your pelvis and thighs through your heels. Lift the back of your skull just enough to maintain the natural curve of your neck, and lengthen out through the crown of your head.
Side plank also helps work the entire core, but puts a greater emphasis on the obliques. You should lift your hips as high as you can, which will really help target the obliques. Until you work up to full side plank, you can keep your bottom knee on the floor. If you have bad wrists, either keep your knee on the floor, or if you have both legs lifted, you can come to the forearm of your supporting arm.
Boat is really good for keeping your abs strong, although you will work your entire core in this pose. If you’re starting out, keep your knees bent at a tabletop position and you can lightly grip behind your thighs with your hands until you’re strong enough to hold your arms out.
After the Boat Pose, you may be ready to stretch out your spine and abdominal muscles. You can do this nicely with the Camel Pose. This pose continues to work the abdominal muscles, but in a different way since you are now bending upwards and over. It is a classic backbend that works the core, improves flexibility along the spine and loosening tight shoulders as well.
Locust Pose is fantastic for strengthening your lower back. If you do a lot of abdominal exercises, it’s also important to work the lower back so that the muscles on the front and back sides of your body don’t become imbalanced. Lift the upper and lower body higher to intensify, or stay lower if you need to modify.
This is a side plank but taken to the next level! You are only balancing yourself with one hand on the ground, as everything else is lifted into the air. The only thing helping you to hold the pose is your core, and that means you are going deep into the muscle tissue and building some serious strength as you do. It’s hard but so very effective for the core.
You might not think of this as a pose that targets the core since you are standing, but it works quite well. There are several warrior poses, but in all of them you are standing in a squatted position, with arms outstretched, and holding this position for a period of time. What you may not realize is that it is the core which is helping you to not only hold the squat and the pose, but also to help you to move in and out of it. You will build muscle in this area as you firm things up, and you will also contribute to a good all over body workout.
Core strengthening poses target the different muscles in your abdominal area and back. There are several yoga poses that help strengthen your core. Some poses are more difficult than others, so it is important to choose the poses that are on your level of capability. Knowing the best yoga poses for strengthening your core helps you tone your muscles and progress to more advanced levels of yoga.