Strong abs shouldn’t just be for people with a six-pack. A strong core is essential for anyone looking for a healthy posture, balance, and stability. If you’re someone who is physically active or leads an active lifestyle, it’s important to make sure your abdominals are always balanced and strong. Yoga can help tremendously in strengthening the abdominal muscles and relieving general soreness– here are six poses to practice that will help you get the strong abs you’re looking for.
The Cobra Pose strengthens the lower back and abdominal muscles. To do it, lay on your stomach and prop yourself on your elbows. Inhale and exhale deeply as you begin to straighten your arms and elongate your spine. Look up at the ceiling and arch your back until your pubis is off the floor. Your feet should remain on the ground and will help ground your position. This pose can also be held while standing against the wall with your arms outstretched.
The boat pose is effective in toning the core. To complete the boat pose, sit back on your tail and slowly lift your feet off the ground. Lean back slightly, and keep your abs engaged to stay steady in the pose. Inhale and exhale deeply with each movement and reach your hands across your body. Hold the pose for five to 10 breaths, and then slowly and carefully lower yourself back down to your mat.
Revolved Belly Pose
The Revolved Belly Pose stretches and strengthens the entirety of the abdominal wall. To perform the pose, lie on your back with your legs straight in the air. Take a deep breath and exhale as you lift your feet and your upper body off the ground, letting them fall into a crunch with your right leg over your left leg. Hold the pose for several seconds and inhale and exhale deeply. Repeat the same movements with your opposite legs.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
The Half Lord of the Fishes Pose stretches the abdominal muscles and opens up the spine. To do the pose, start in a seated position and cross your right leg over your left leg. Bend your right knee, and hug the outside of your right thigh. Place your left palm on your right foot, hook your right elbow around your right knee, and twist your torso to your right. Inhale and exhale deeply for a few breaths, and then repeat on the opposite side.
The Locust Pose will help you achieve a strong back, shoulder, and abdominal muscles. To practice the pose, start by laying face-down on your yoga mat. Put your hands on the waist and take a deep breath, then exhale and bring your shoulders and legs off the ground. Extend your arms out in front of you, and keep your stomach and navel engaged as you hold the pose for several breaths.
Half Bow Pose
The Half Bow Pose will stretch the abdominals and torso muscles. Lie on your belly and bring your arms up and around your legs. Your feet should remain grounded, and you should inhale and exhale deeply while lifting your torso and legs off the ground. Hold the pose and remember to contract your abdomen and buttocks to keep you stable.
If you’re looking to strengthen your abs, performing any one of these six poses can help tremendously. Remember that even though you may be sore after these poses, it indicates that the stretching is working. Keep practicing and you’ll be sure to achieve the strong abs you’re after.