6 Yoga Exercises for Core Strength

Soniya
Yoga can help strengthen your core and enhance flexibility. (Image via Unsplash / Mor Shani)
Yoga can help strengthen your core and enhance flexibility. (Image via Unsplash / Mor Shani)

Yoga is a wonderful way to improve both body and mind, but many people do not consider it to build core strength. Nevertheless, yoga has several poses that are designed specifically to strengthen the core muscles.

Core strength is key, as it helps prevent injury to the pelvis, lower back, and shoulders. The best part is that these are some of the easiest yoga poses for beginners, so you can develop endurance quickly. A strong core leads to good posture and healthier spine, and prevents back pain.


Yoga Exercises to Strengthen Core

Here's a look at six such poses:

1) Boat Pose

A yoga pose that can build core strength, the boat pose is a stationery stance and can improve stability and mobility. Yoga poses are always better when they're easier to do.

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To do this posture:

  • Lie on the floor, and extend your legs in front of you.
  • Lean back, and extend your spine as you bend your knees.
  • Lift your feet off the ground, and flex them, if possible.
  • If you need to, hold on to your bent knees with your hands to keep your spine long. The Boat Pose is a V-shaped posture practised with the legs fully extended and arms at the sides.
  • But this version is quite effective and is a good place to start.
  • Hold this posture while breathing deeply.

2) Side Plank Pose

This is an excellent yoga exercise to work your obliques, which can give you core strength. It's also a great way to build muscle endurance.

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Here's how you do this yoga move:

  • Starting in a high push-up position, keep your right hand on the floor, and swing your body sideways toward the left wall.
  • Bend your legs to help you balance; to do so, flex your feet.
  • You can gain greater stability by putting one foot in front of the other.
  • Extending your left arm up in the air, slightly lift up your left hip towards the ceiling, and breathe deeply.

3) Dolphin Plank Pose

If you want to build core strength, try a plank posture that requires abdominal activation. The dolphin plank is a hybrid yoga posture that makes use of strength in both hands and feet.

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To do this move:

  • Start in the downward dog pose. Lower your elbows to the floor one at a time.
  • Have your arms parallel with each other.
  • You can also have your hands closer together, creating a triangle shape with your arms on the ground.
  • Curl your toes, and lift your knees off the floor.
  • Lie on your back, and pull your knees up to your chest.

4) Wheel Pose

The bridge pose is the perfect, intermediate backbend for those looking to strengthen their entire spine. Additionally, this pose also helps open up the chest, shoulders, and hips.

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Here's how you do this posture:

  • Lie on your stomach, with your legs bent.
  • Put your hands by your shoulders, but at least a foot away from them for good alignment and leverage.
  • Exhale as you press your feet and hands into the floor to lift your entire body into the air.
  • This is a dynamic posture; so if you're unable to move up, stay with the bridge pose. Both can strengthen the core.

5) Chair Pose with a Twist

The chair pose with twist is another way to up your core strength. A good posture is essential for beginners. It can boost strength, endurance, and stability in your core.

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To do this move:

  • Standing up straight, inhale, and raise your arms towards the ceiling.
  • Exhaling, bend forward from your hips, and fold into a seated position as though you're sitting in a chair.
  • Bring your hands together, palms touching, to the center of your chest.
  • Stand up straight with your feet firmly on the floor and hips aligned.
  • To add length to your spine, inhale deeply.
  • As you exhale, rotate your torso slightly to the right.

6) Revolving Side Angle Pose

Keeping your body strong, you can perform the revolving side angle pose. A deep breath in and out keep your abs and back engaged.

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To do this exercise:

  • Start by standing with your feet together. Bring your left arm out to the side, and lower it to the floor.
  • Put your hand on your right foot. Rise up on to your tip toes behind you, and twist towards the left in a lunge formation. This is an effective way to target your obliques.

Takeaway

If you want to develop a stronger core, add the aforementioned poses to your routine. Each of them offers its own set of benefits. So, if you work on them diligently, you'll notice a difference in your core in terms of strength and stability.

As always, remember to listen to your body. If a pose is too difficult for you, back off till your body feels ready for it. Also, never push through pain.

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Edited by Bhargav