Five Yoga Poses to Work Your Core

24th July 2018
Many people confuse working their core with doing abdominal exercises. While working your core certainly involves doing these exercises, there are also other activities you must do to strengthen different muscle groups, such as those located in your lower back.

If you want to make your core muscles strong and stable, we highly recommend yoga. You do not even have to leave your house to devote a few minutes each day to these simple yoga poses that will work your core. 

In order to achieve your core goals, yoga can be an essential tool. This activity can be incredibly beneficial for several parts of your body. These include:

  • Muscles: yoga helps to gain strength, endurance, flexibility, and stability in your muscles.
  • Bones: this flexibility also applies to your bones, as it makes them more resistant. In addition, the improvement in stability reduces your chances of suffering falls that can lead to fractures or blows.
  • Mind: these exercises also help you to relax, release tension, and even enhance your sex life.

Finally, it is also necessary to mention that yoga is good for incorporating breathing techniques and it allows for socializing with other people, if you decide to take classes.

Yoga Poses to Work Your Core

Within the wide range of poses included in this discipline, there are some specific ones that will help you to work your core. Next, we will describe these five great yoga poses:

1. Side plank:

Also called vashistasana, this position is one of the best for exercising the core. To begin, you must position yourself with one hand resting on the ground and with your arm fully stretched. Try to keep the rest of your body straight; your body’s only other point of contact with the floor should be your foot.

Woman doing side plank position

The idea is to have the weight of your body supported by two points. Of course, the stability that you can provide with your core, through the contraction of your muscles, is fundamental.

If you have difficulty at the beginning, you can place your other foot on the ground for additional support. In order to do this, bend your upper knee and pass it in front of the knee of your extended leg.

2. Ship pose

The ship pose, or navasana, is extremely challenging. However, you can start small and progress gradually as you gain more strength and stability.

The steps to follow are: firstly, lie on the floor, resting mostly on your tailbone. Then, with your knees slightly bent, join your legs together and raise them. Raise your upper body and extend your arms out. 

It is important that you always keep your chest open, even if the exercise itself requires you to contract your abs. In other words, you should ‘curl yourself into a little ball’ in order to do the ship pose.

3. Crunch with elevated legs

This is one of the easier yoga postures to work your core if you are a beginner. To do it, lie on the floor, facing up.

crunch with elevated legs

Then, bring your legs up to a position perpendicular to the floor while keeping them stretched. Once you reach this position, bring your hands behind the nape of the neck and lift your upper body up, little by little. After a few seconds, slowly resume the initial position.

4. Front plank

This position is very well-known. Surely you have seen it and you may even have done it in a training session? It consists of lying face down, with only your forearms and the tips of your feet resting on the ground for support.

Your core should function as support for the middle part of your body. Your torso should remain in a straight line, at the same height as your legs and neckline. In addition to this variant, you can also stretch your arms and use your palms as support in order to increase the difficulty.

5. Bridge pose

This last of the yoga poses to work your core, and as we are suggesting, is also a very popular pose. It consists of lying on the floor, on your back and bending your knees. The soles of your feet should be resting on the ground for support.

Then, raise your pelvis until you reach full extension. Throughout, you should keep your knees bent at 90 degrees. Meanwhile, your arms should remain at the sides of your body. If you wish and you are able, slide your shoulders back a little and grab your heels with your hands.

Remember that the time you spend on each pose will depend upon your physical condition. No one can determine the length and difficulty of these poses better than you can.  Also, never forget that taking deep and conscious breaths is as important as staying calm and clearing your mind when doing these exercises.

These yoga poses will work your core and not only help you to become stronger and improve your health, but they can also help you to obtain aesthetic results. Since these yoga poses are good for losing weight, they can also contribute to your goal of achieving a flat stomach, as long as you combine them with a healthy diet and exercise.