Tired of the same old crunches? There are various, effective yoga exercises for core strength. Since yoga relies on precise control of body weight postures, the abs and core are constantly engaged. Incorporate these postures into your exercise routine to build overall core strength.
To assume the starting Table position, start with hands and knees on the floor. Fingers should be spread wide and hands should be directly under the shoulders. Knees should be under the hips. With the core muscles engaged, slowly lift the right arm and left leg off the floor until they are parallel to the ground. Breathe deeply for about 30 seconds, focusing on the right fingers extending ahead and the left foot reaching back. Slowly return to Table pose and repeat on the opposite side.
While seated, bend the knees so that the feet are flat on the floor, hands touching the floor next to the hips. Slowly lift the feet off the floor and begin to extend the legs. The full Boat posture will have the body forming a ‘V’ with the legs and torso. Once the legs are extended to their limit, lift the hands from the floor and extend them forward, parallel to the ground. Focus on breathing and keeping the core tight, back straight, and chest open. The knees may be bent slightly to achieve the correct form. Additionally, the hands may be kept on the floor for light assistance until the core strength is attained to achieve this posture.
Support the body with the forearms and toes in contact with the floor. The fingers should be spread wide, elbows under the shoulders. The head, back, hips, and legs should form a straight line and be firm like a plank. The entire core is necessary to maintain this form for the duration of the pose. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for about 30 seconds.
Crescent Moon is a standing posture that stretches and stabilizes the core, specifically the obliques. From Mountain pose raise the arms and hands towards the sky, palms touching each other. Relax the shoulders, and on an exhale arch the upper body to the left and slightly push the hips to the right. Balance and breathe while stretching the right side oblique and stabilizing the posture. Inhale to return to Mountain pose and repeat on the opposite side.
There are many yoga exercises for ab and core strength. Focusing on the correct form during postures requires utilization of the entire core region. When performing yoga poses always remember to breathe deeply and never push to a point to discomfort. Practicing yoga regularly will increase core strength, improve balance, and provide relaxation.