Whether you are a beginner in your yoga journey or are a regular yoga practitioner, incorporating specific yoga postures that strengthen your core muscles and abs can be beneficial to your overall fitness. A strong core is not only about Instagram-worthy pictures, but it's much more than appearance. Powerful and defined abs support your daily movements, stabilize and protect your lower back, and encourage good posture.
If you are looking to give your core muscles an effective workout and are aiming to achieve toned abs, look no further than these yoga poses. Incorporate these asanas into your everyday workout routine and achieve those sculpted abs.
Yoga Postures for Defined Abs
Yoga can help you sufficiently stretch your abs and achieve a fine contour for the muscles of the region with regular practice.
1. Plank Pose
A plank is one of the most energizing yoga postures, which strengthens both the upper and lower body and targets the abs from every angle.
- Start the pose on your knees and hands in a tabletop position and place your wrists under your shoulders.
- Shift your weight on the balls of your feet and extend your legs behind you.
- Tuck your tailbone to engage your lower body muscles and tighten the muscles in your legs.
- Make sure you lift your body through your quads to keep up the balance. Also, keep your core engaged to avoid sagging from your hips.
2. Chair Pose
A chair pose sculpts the core muscles and strengthens the lower and middle back. This asana requires a great deal of strength through your core and legs, as well as flexibility in your shoulders.
- From Tadasana (Mountain pose), lower your thighs and bend your knees so that they get parallel to the floor.
- Move your hips back as if seated on a chair.
- Keep both your arms extended overhead and your torso long.
- Now reach your tailbone down and crown your head up toward the ceiling.
- Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the pose and draw your belly button towards your spine.
3. Dolphin Pose
The Dolphin pose is one of the best yoga postures that not only works on your abs but also tones your shoulders and spine. Performing this yoga asana engages both your deep and superficial core muscles.
- From a plank pose, move your forearms to the floor and keep your wrists aligned with your elbows. Your palms should be facing the floor and your elbows under your shoulders.
- Now lift your hips and walk your toes towards your face.
- To intensify the pose, lift your hips above your shoulders and rest your heels on the floor.
4. Twisting Boat Pose
The standard boat pose targets your deep abdominal muscles and challenges the stamina and strength of each muscle from your shoulders to hips. When you perform the twisting boat pose, you fire up your side abdominal muscles, including the external and internal obliques.
- Lie on your back and take a boat pose. From there, bring your shins parallel to the ground and keep your knees bent.
- Hold the boat pose for a few seconds with your arms extended out in front of you, and then simultaneously twist your body to your right while opening your arms wide.
- Return to the centre and then twist your body to your left.
5. Camel Pose
The Camel pose is one of the most effective yoga postures that boosts your spine's flexibility and offers strengthened abs. This asana helps open the hips, stretches the shoulders and back muscles, reduces leg fat, improves respiration, and eases lower back pain.
- Kneel on the floor with your feet positioned at hip distance.
- Put your hands on the back of your hips and keep your fingers pointing downwards.
- Now slowly stretch your chest and push your shoulders back to reach your heels with your fingertips.
- Stay in the position for a few minutes and stretch properly.
6. Cobra Pose
The Cobra pose enhances the flexibility of your spine and also alleviates pain caused by sciatica and menstruation. Plus, it is also one of the most productive yoga postures that you can do to get strong abs.
- Lie straight on your stomach and place your legs together with your toes on the floor. Keep your hands on your chest.
- Engage your abs, glutes, and back to lift your upper body off the floor without moving your pelvis. Make sure your elbows are near the sides of your body, your shoulders are down, and your chest is open.
- Hold this position and relax.
Although these yoga postures are effective and safe for most practitioners, you should consult your doctor before starting the routine, especially if you have hip or back pain, or are recovering from an injury, or are pregnant.