Strengthen Your Abs With These Yoga Asanas

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New Delhi: Yoga is one of the best things you can do to improve strength, tone your body and boost your health. Here are some core yoga poses that emphasize core strength and brought them to you here for your own practice.

Cat-Cow Stretch

  1. Start by coming onto all fours with your knees underneath your hips and your wrists underneath your shoulders.
  2. Do a few Cat-Cow Stretches to warm up, arching your back on your inhalations and rounding your spine on your exhalations. Remember to keep your belly hugging in throughout both motions.

This is a fantastic way to warm up your abdomen as it targets the rectus abdominis and external obliques. Think about pulling in your abdomen as you inhale and relaxing it on the exhale.

Hands and Knees Balance

This pose is a great opportunity to fire up and strengthen the obliques and the transversus abdominis which help to stabilize you in this pose! Focus on hugging your abs in towards center creating a corset effect.

  1. Return to your hands and knees with your spine in a neutral position.
  2. Lift your right leg and straighten it, holding it parallel to the floor. Flex your right foot strongly.
  3. When you feel stable, raise your left arm, also parallel to the floor.
  4. Stay in your Hands and Knees Balance for 5 breaths.

Repeat with the left leg and right arm raised.

Down Dog Splits

This pose is highly stabilizing. While you’re balancing here this will ask the external obliques to engage along with your transversus abdominis, the deepest of the abdominal muscles. Focus on hugging the ribs back and in to avoid back bending.

  1. Come back onto all fours. Curl your toes under and draw your hips back as you straighten your legs into Downward Facing Dog. Keep your belly hugging in towards your spine.
  2. On an inhale, raise your right leg until it is roughly parallel to the floor, coming to a Down Dog Split. It’s OK to lift your leg higher if you can do so while keeping your hips squared towards the floor.

Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat with the left leg lifted.

Plank Pose

This is a terrific full core workout as it engages both the internal and external muscles of the abdomen including the obliques, transverse, and rectus abdominis. Focus on drawing the navel towards the spine.

  1. Come forward into Plank Pose.
  2. Remember that the distance between your hands and your feet should be the same in Plank as in Down Dog. Pay attention to the position of your hips. You don’t want your butt to stick up or sag down.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

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