Yoga offers a plethora of benefits ranging from greater flexibility and agility to peace of mind and better breathing. With summer hot on our heels and lighter clothing and bathing suits on the horizon, many people are looking for some good exercises that will help tone up the abs for better display during hot months. Below, are four of the best yoga poses for abdominal muscles.
Best Ab Poses and How To Do Them
- 1. Tree Pose: This is a pretty simple pose that not only uses core muscles and strengthens abs, but gives you better balance. Start with your right leg first. Shift weight to the left leg and lift your right foot up the inner part of your thigh as high as you can go. Focus on a point in front of you for balance. Once you have that, fold your hands in front of your chest in prayer pose. Tighten your abdominal muscles and straighten your spine. Breathe deeply for at least 30 seconds with tightened abs. Repeat with the other leg.
- 2. Warrior III Pose: This is yet another balance challenge, because abdominal strength is crucial for proper balance. Shift your weight to your right foot. Hug your left knee to your chest and then extend it straight back, leaning forward as you do this so your leg is parallel to the ground. Point your toes downward. For balance, you can put your fingertips on the ground. Once you’re ready, reach your arms in front of you so that your body forms a straight line. Straighten the spine, tighten the abs, and breathe deeply. You can bend your bottom knee for stability if needed. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- 3. Camel Hinge Pose: Kneel on the floor with knees hip distance apart and toes tucked under. Extend your arms in front of you, palms down. Tighten abs and breathe in deeply, lifting your chest. Then, slowly press your pelvis forward and hinge backward, slightly arching the lower back. Open the chest through deep breaths, and focus on keeping your ribcage down by using core abdominal muscles. Stay here for 20-30 seconds, then come up slowly. Do this three or four times.
- 4. Extended Boat Pose: Sit on the floor with your hip bones widened and extend your legs in front of you. Place your hands on the ground next to your hips and slowly lift your legs off the ground, holding your stomach in and up. Once you’re ready, extend your arms out to the side of your thighs. Your body should resemble a ‘V.’ Hold this position for 30-60 seconds and then release. Do this three or four times.
These are just four of the best ab-working yoga poses. If these don’t work for you, research more options. You’ll want to do these poses every day with your other exercise routines for maximum benefit.
For more information, poses and pictures see: