Yoga Poses to Strengthen the Core
There’s a lot of buzz around the importance of cores strength–for a good reason! Strong core muscles can benefit us in many areas of our lives:
- Improved balance (link to yoga poses for balance blog) and stability
- Reduced risk of falls and/or injury
- Reduced fatigue and injury
- Better athletic performance
- Improved posture and reduced back pain
- Ease in performing everyday tasks involving lifting, bending down, and moving around.
Yoga can be a great help with maximizing your core strength! Below are some yoga poses that are excellent with strengthening the core.
When thinking of how to strengthen the abdomen, crunches are usually the #1 exercise! Lying on your back, bend your knees and draw your feet back toward your hips. Exhale, pressing your lower back into the ground while lifting your shoulders off the ground. As you inhale, slowly relax back. Repeat as many times as you’d like.
Lying on your back, bend your legs, placing your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart. Slowly lift your back toward the sky, supporting your weight on your shoulders. Hold for thirty seconds to a minute, breathing deeply, and exhale as you lower to the ground.
To perform the Locust pose, lie on your stomach with your arms at your side. On an exhale, lift your arms, head, and legs from the ground, firming your buttocks. Hold the pose for thirty seconds to a minute, and release on an exhale. Repeat as many times as you like.
Sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, lift your arms and legs, leaning back slightly. Try to keep your legs and spine straight, aiming to form the shape of a V. Your toes should be just above the level of your eyes. Your arms should be parallel to the floor. Hold for anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute, and repeat as many times as you like.
This variation of the traditional plank pose involves resting your weight on your forearms rather than your hands. Try to keep your body straight as a line. Remember to breathe, and try to avoid storing tension in your jaw or fists. Hold for anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute.