Yoga tends to get a bad reputation because people think it’s all about stretching and bending your body into a pretzel; and while the later may be true (you’ve seen those Instagram pics) it’s also better than just doing crunches all the time! While many types of traditional yoga practices are based on mindfulness and spiritual mantras, yoga is also a great ab workout. These 5 poses here offer a ton of core strength. I mean, there’s a reason you can’t hold them for long before collapsing onto your mat. Start with these poses to begin to strengthen your core and tone your abs without doing any crunches.
1. Boat Pose
Boat pose is amazing for your entire core because it works the muscles in your upper and lower abs at the same time. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Then, press your hands on the floor behind your hips and lift your legs off the floor, leaning back slightly and lifting your hands in front of you. Your tailbone should now be on the ground with your legs and arms forward in the same direction. You can either hold it there for maximum time, or hold it for a few breaths, release, and then repeat for reps (10-12).
Bend your knees at first if you’re not able to extend them fully.
2. Warrior III
It might sound weird to do an ab exercise while standing up, but the whole point of the Warrior III is to challenge your balance by standing on one foot, and then stabilize using your core. Start standing up with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides. Then, turn to your left and step your feet wide, bending your right knee over your right ankle. Press your weight into your right foot and lift your left leg out behind you while your arms extend out in front of you. If it feels wobbly or awkward to be on one foot, that’s the point. Engage your abs and squeeze tight to stabilize yourself for as long as you can—at least 30 seconds before switching legs
Keep your arms in prayer position to help with balance.
3. Side Plank
Side planks may seem basic, but there’s a reason you do them in every yoga, Pilates, and workout: they do the trick. The idea of the side plank is to stack your feet on one side of you while your forearm is on the ground and your hips are lifted. You want to engage your oblique muscles. Hold the pose on each side of your body for 30 seconds and remember to keep your obliques and hips lifted and squared the entire time. The other option is to support yourself with a fully-extended arm, which takes some burn off your abs but adds an additional balance component—still good for your core.
Stacking your feet is standard, but lowering your back leg for stabilization is a modifier.
4. Chair Pose
Chair pose tends to feel like a quad workout (and it is), but if you’re doing it right and taking your time, you can feel this in your core too and it’s great for your abs. Standing hip-distance apart with your arms straight over your head, sit down into a mini squat without moving your arms at all. Bring your hips as low as you can and engage your core muscles so that you don’t lean too far forward. Take deep breaths and hold the pose for a minute if you can.
Keep your weight in your heels, lift your toes off your mat to remind yourself if need be.
5. Elevated Plank
Planks are basic and sound boring, but by elevating your feet onto a higher surface, (like a yoga block, wheel or a bench) you can get a deeper burn in your abs and really engage all your muscles at once. The idea is to have your feet elevated behind you and your body in one straight line. Try to think about pulling your belly button toward your spine and slightly lifting your buttocks; making sure your back stays straight the entire time. The burn will kick in pretty quickly but that just means you’re doing it right. Start with 30 seconds and work up to a minute.
Just like with side planks, dropping to your forearms puts more stress on your abs, but is also more stable.
All 108 In Yoga 20 Minute Yoga Practice 30 Minute Sequence 30-minute Sequence 45 Minute Yin Yoga 8 Limbs Of Yoga Acroyoga Advanced Yoga Poses Arm Balances Ashtanga Yoga Ayurveda Baby Boomer Yoga Balancing Yoga Poses Bandhas Beginner Yoga Beginner Yoga Poses Benefits Of Yoga Bhakti Yoga B.K.S. Iyengar Breathing In Yoga Chakra Meditation Chakras Chants Dosha Evening Yoga Practice Gentle Yoga Hatha Yoga Hatha Yoga Sequence Hip Openers History Of Yoga Holiday Yoga Holiday Yoga Poses Home Yoga Inner Peace Insomnia Intense Side Stretch Pose Intermediate Yoga Poses Iyengar Quotes Iyengar Yoga Learning Sanskrit Letting Go Lotus Pose Mantras Meditation Meditation For Beginners Meditation For Children Meditation For Sleep Mindful Exercises Moon Salutations Morning Yoga Namaste Om Mantra Partner Yoga Patañjali Pigeon Pose Pillars Of Yoga Practice Of Yoga Practicing Mindfulness Pranayama Prenatal Yoga Pyramid Pose Quick Yoga Sequence Restorative Yoga Selfless Service Setting An Intention Seva Shoulder Openers Significance Of Namaste Styles Of Yoga Sun Salutations Surya Namaskar A Traveling Yogi Types Of Yoga Uddiyana Bandha Ujjayi Breathing Vacation Wrist Pain Yama And Niyama Yin Yoga Yin Yoga Poses Yoga And Meditation Yoga Asanas Yoga At Work Yoga Benefits Yoga Blocks Yoga Breathing Yoga Class Yoga Diet Yoga Etiquette Yoga Exercise Yoga FAQ Yoga For Abs Yoga For A Cold Yoga For Adrenal Fatigue Yoga For Arms Yoga For Arthritis Yoga For Babies Yoga For Baby Yoga For Baby Boomers Yoga For Back Pain Yoga For Beginners Yoga For Better Posture Yoga For Computer Users Yoga For Core Yoga For Fertility Yoga For Glowing Skin Yoga For Hamstrings Yoga For Health Yoga For Heartburn Yoga For Insomnia Yoga For Kids Yoga For Lower Blood Pressure Yoga For Men Yoga For New Parents Yoga For Pain Yoga For Seniors Yoga For Shoulders Yoga For Spine Yoga For Stress Yoga For Stress Relief Yoga For The Ankles Yoga For Two Yoga For Winter Yoga For Women Yoga For Wrist Pain Yoga For Wrists Yoga Injuries Yoga Inspiration Yoga Inversions Yoga Lifestyle Yoga Mats Yoga Nidra Yoga Poses Yoga Poses For Beginners Yoga Poses For Men Yoga Principles Yoga Questions Yoga Quotes Yoga Retreats Yoga Sequence Yoga & Spirituality Yoga Sutras Yoga Teacher Yoga Tips Yoga To Relax Yoga Travel Yogic Lifestyle