Many don’t realize that core strength is actually an essential part of yoga.
Those crazy-looking poses you see yoga experts doing? They’re all made possible because of the constant engagement and tightening of the core muscles.
The core is the powerhouse of your body. With a strong core, you’ll have better stability, and it’s easier to transition from one yoga pose to another.
These yoga poses for killer abs not only will help you develop core strength, but it also helps to improve posture and keep your body fit.
Let’s get into it!
What You Need To Get Started…
We recommend that you always get 2 things: yoga mat and yoga blocks.
Your yoga mat is there to give your body comfort because your body will be in contact with the floor most of the time. Using a yoga mat helps you to protect your hips, knees, back and other parts from the hard surface of the floor. We recommend using this extra-thick, non-slip yoga mat when you’re practicing these yoga poses!
Yoga blocks are useful yoga props for beginners or even yogi experts. They are used as the extension of your arms, and as a support for your head, back, hips to help settle your body into a pose. Here’s a lightweight and durable foam yoga block! We especially recommend using this for beginners and for those that may be experiencing physical injuries.
The cobra pose is a great way to strengthen your core while increasing flexibility in your back as well.
To begin, lie face down and place your hands just slightly above your hips. Make sure to keep them slightly bent.
Slowly lift yourself off from the ground with the strength of core instead of your hands. This is to ensure that you are working core and abs.
Your arms should also be light and soft because you only use them as minimal as possible. Also, your arms do not need to be straightened in this pose.
Duration: Hold this yoga pose for as long as possible before releasing. Repeat it twice.
The plank pose may look simple, but if done properly, it’s a great yoga pose to strengthen the core and arms at the same time.
Start in a push-up position, make sure your arms shoulder-width apart and directly over your wrists. Your torso should be parallel to the floor while maintaining your shoulder blades away from your spine. Imagine lengthening your tailbone towards the back of your heels.
As you hold the position, stay focused on engaging your core muscles by tightening them. This helps to keep your body lengthened without raising up or dropping your butt below your body line.
Duration: Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Slowly work your way to achieve holding this pose up to 1 minute.
Side Plank Pose
The side plank pose is a great yoga pose to help engage your core muscles while practicing your balances.
You want to start by going into a plank position with your feet pressed together. Next, roll onto your right side. From here onwards, you need to use the outside of your right food to balance your weight.
Make sure to use your core to keep yourself balanced. Keep both of your legs straight and slowly raise your left hand up and reach for the ceiling.
Duration: Hold this pose for 30 seconds. Release the pose and rest briefly before repeating on the left side.
Upward (Reverse) Plank Pose
For this pose, your emphasis should still be on your core. So, instead of relying too much on both your hands and feet, it should only be for support.
To begin this pose, lie flat on your back and keep your arms slightly bent. Your hands should be placed a couple of inches above your hips.
Next, you want to keep your core engaged while you use your hands and feet up off the floor. Hold the pose once your arms are perpendicular to the floor while your back is parallel to it.
Duration: Hold the pose for 30 seconds and release. Repeat this pose 2 more times.
One-Legged Downward Facing Dog
Here’s a slight variation in the downward facing dog!
To start, you want to begin in the downward facing dog. As you slowly raise one of your legs up as high as you can, remember to keep grounded and press down towards the floor. You should also lift through your pelvis.
In order to hold the pose, you need to balance by engaging your core muscles.
Also, the foot that is placed on the floor should remain grounded. So try not to go tiptoe for this pose!
Duration: Hold this yoga pose for at least 30 seconds. Remember to always repeat on the other side.
Extended Side Angle Pose
Start by coming into a low lunge with your right leg in front and your left leg is straightened.
Next, place your right arm on the inside of your right leg and remember to keep it fully straightened.
If you find it difficult to reach the floor, you can always use a non-slip yoga block to help you until you feel comfortable enough.
You will often use this pose in a transition from mountain pose and warrior III.
Duration: Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Fallen Triangle With Leg Lift
Image Credit: www.yogiapproved.com
This pose is all about strength and stability. The best part of it, you’ll also be able to work on your obliques in this pose!
Begin with downward facing dog pose and have your right knee crunched towards your chest. Next, turn towards your left and press your heels firmly down into the mat while simultaneously lifting your left arm straight above you. Make sure your shoulders are directly over your right wrist.
As you hold this pose, keep your core strong by tightening the muscles. This helps to keep your hips or butt in line with your body without swaying forward or backward.
Once you’ve steadied yourself, straighten your right leg and keep it extended on the mat. To increase the intensity, you may also lift it up and hold.
Duration: Hold for 30 seconds on each side, or until you can no longer maintain proper form. Repeat on the other side.
The boat pose is a more intense pose to strengthen your core. You may find it difficult in the beginning to hold the pose, but rest assured that you’ll get it after some practice!
Start off by sitting firmly with your legs stretched in front of you. Keep your hands slightly behind your hips, and begin to raise your legs up to a 45-degree angle.
Although you should be using your core more, you may also use your hands to help you balance.
Once you’ve steadied yourself, challenge yourself more and raise your arms to the outside of your knees.
If you can’t seem to stretch and straighten your legs, don’t worry! Just keep them slightly bent and slowly work on your flexibility on your legs as well.
Duration: Hold this pose for 30 seconds before releasing. Your goal is to hold this pose for 1 minute.
Looks scary and hard? Well, the crow pose is a more advanced pose in this list, but don’t worry!
Remember, practice makes perfect! You’ll be able to hold this pose in no time.
To begin with, start by going into garland pose. It is when you stay in a seated squat position while placing your arms on the insides of your legs.
Next, place your arms on the mat and press firmly. For beginners, place your knees on the outside of your elbows. However, for more advanced yogis, you may place your knees up near your armpits.
Lastly, keep your core tight and engaged and slowly lean forward until your feet leave the mat. By now your torso and legs are balanced and supported by the backs of your upper arms.
Duration: Hold for 20 seconds. Exhale to release and return to a squat.
Let’s get those killer abs!
For a full core strengthening workout, make sure you complete all of these poses and repeat the sequence once more on the other side.
These yoga poses will definitely help you to build a strong core. And with consistent practice, you’ll get those toned and killer abs.
No more waiting for that summer body you’ve been longing for! You can also combine this with yoga poses great for weight loss!
If we missed out on any of your favorite core strengthening yoga poses, comment below! We would love to hear from you.