Yoga is a fantastic way get great abs. Regular practice will help tighten and tone your midsection and build the muscles that support your spine. These two simple yoga poses for abs via Yoga Basics are a great way to add targeted core work to your practice.
Upward Boat Pose
1. From a seated position bend the knees, bringing the feet flat to the floor with the legs together. Slide the hands behind your hips with the fingers pointed forward and elbows bent away from you.
2. Lean back to lift the heels an inch or two off the floor. Draw the shoulder blades together to lift and open the chest.
3. Slowly begin to straighten the legs, kicking out through the heels, lifting the legs up as high as comfortable. Release the arms forward, parallel to the floor with the palms facing down. Keep the chest open and the shoulders down and back.
4. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths. Put as much effort into lifting the chest as you are in lifting the legs.
5. To release: exhale and bend the knees, lowering the feet back to the floor.
Benefits: Boat pose tones and strengthens the abdominal muscles, improves balance and confidence, and stretches the backs of the legs.
1. From Standing Forward Fold, step or jump both feet back 4-5 feet into a push-up position.
2. Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle finger pointing forward, press into the palms with the arms are straight. Tuck the tailbone under so the legs, hips and torso are one straight line. Press the crown of the head forward and with the toes tucked, press the heels back.
3. Breathe and hold for 1-4 breaths.
4. To release: either bend the knees to the floor into Child pose, or bend the elbows and lower down into Kataranga.
Benefits: Plank pose builds upper and core body strength, lengthens the spine and strengthens the low back muscles.
Read more about core yoga poses at Yoga Basics.
Questions? Ask in the comments!