10 Effective Ways to Tone and Strengthen Your Abs with Yoga
Do you want to target, strengthen, and tone that core? Here are some yoga poses you can incorporate in your workout to get rid of belly fat!
Yoga has become a very popular form of exercise since its origins thousands of years ago. People love it because it changes their whole lifestyle completely, promoting well-being and a healthy state of mind. If you lead a stressful or hectic life, yoga will do wonders to ease your worries and help you relax. But yoga is not only a great healthy lifestyle choice, it’s also a very effective workout that can make you lose weight fast and tone your body all over. Celebrities and supermodels who all need to keep a fit and toned body for their occupation have sworn by yoga and revealed how it has helped them achieve their fitness goals. And just because it relaxes the mind doesn’t mean you’re not getting in a good workout. More vigorous types of yoga can burn about 320 calories in a 1 hour yoga session. To do yoga, you also need to have significant strength, flexibility, and agility, so it is extremely effective at toning up your body, strengthening your muscles, and making you slender. There are certain yoga poses that target certain muscles to tone up your body. So, if you want to target that belly area and get yourself some abs, here are some yoga poses that will get you a toned and flat tummy:
This is a pose you might already be familiar with even if you don’t do yoga. However, the yoga variation is just a bit different. To do this pose, lie down first with your belly on the floor. Then, push up on your arms and toes. Straighten your arms and back and make sure that the only parts of your body touching the floor are your palms and your toes. Pull your ab muscles in and make sure that you feel the burn. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 20 seconds up to a minute.
Get down on your hands and knees. Curve your back like a cat and touch your chin to your chest. Contract your abs and feel your muscles tense and burn. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 20 seconds to a minute.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your legs until your toes are the only thing touching the floor. Place your hands slightly behind you, lean back, and put some of your weight on them. Then, raise both of your feet and straighten them a bit until they are parallel to the floor. Find your balance then lift your hands off the ground and place them at the sides of your raised shins with your palms up. Once you’re stable, completely straighten both of your legs to point upwards and create a “V” with your body. Use your ab muscles to keep your legs and torso raised. Relax and feel all of your muscles working. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 20 seconds to a minute.
Half Boat Pose
From boat pose, all you need to do is lower your torso and legs so that they are only slightly off the floor. You should still form a wide “V” with your body. Keep your arms by your side next to your thigh and your toes pointed. Make sure that the only part touching the ground is your buttocks. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 20 seconds up to a minute.
Four Limbed Staff Pose
You can start this from either the plank pose or lying down on your belly. If you start with plank pose, just slowly lower your torso by bending your elbows in a pushup position. Keep your toes on the ground, still and support your weight with your ab muscles. If you start lying down on your belly, simply push up with your toes and arms but keep your elbows bent. Again, support your weight with your core and make sure the only parts touching the floor are your palms and your toes. Breathe deeply and hold this position for 20 seconds to a minute.
Side Plank Pose
Start this posture transitioning from the plank pose. From plank pose, cross one leg in front of the other one and place it on its side. Then, put your weight on the turned foot and place the other one on top of it so that they’re both facing sideward. Lift one hand off the floor, open up your torso, and face to the side that your feet are facing. Extend your arm toward the ceiling and find your balance. Look up at your hand and make sure your ab muscles are supporting your weight. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for 20 seconds to a minute.
You can either start dolphin pose on your hands and knees or from downward dog. If you start out on your hands and knees, just go down on your elbows and then lift both your knees off the floor to straighten them. Place your palms down on the ground and try to keep your heels on the ground, as well. From downward dog, just slowly lower both elbows until they’re flat on the floor. Keep your knees as straight as possible and feel your ab muscles contracting. Breathe deeply and hold this for 20 seconds to 1 minute.
Dolphin Plank Pose
You can start this posture transitioning from either dolphin pose or plank pose or just lying down on your belly. From dolphin pose, stay on your elbows and step back both your feet until you form a plank. Support your weight with your core, elbows, and toes. From plank pose, just slowly go down on your elbows and keep your feet in the same position. From your belly, just plant your elbows on the floor and push up with them and your toes. Make sure your palms are flat to the floor, as well. Feel your core holding you up in this position. Breathe deeply and hold this for 20 seconds or a minute.
You can start this from downward dog or from your hands and knees. From downward dog, lower your torso slightly and extend both your legs a little bit farther backward. Then, bend one leg and curl your upper back to rest your bent knee to your nose. From your hands and knees, just push your knees up off the floor and straighten them to extend backward. Bend one leg, curl your back, and place your knee on your nose. Feel your core contracting. Breathe deeply and hold this for 20 seconds to a minute.
This pose will be great if you already have some core and arm strength, if you find that you can’t do it yet, just keep doing the other strengthening poses and work up to this one. To do this pose, start by sitting Indian-style. Then, instead of keeping your feet under your thighs, place one foot on top of your thigh and then cross your other leg on top of it to place your other foot on top of your other thigh. This will form a kind of pretzel position with your legs. Place your palms down firmly beside your thighs and then push your whole body off of the floor. Hold up your twisted legs using your core and curl them toward your stomach. Hold up your whole body with your arms. Breathe deeply and hold this for 20 seconds or a minute depending on your capabilities.
Yoga is one of the best ways to tone up your body and build some strength and flexibility. If you’re already an avid practitioner of yoga and want to tone up and strengthen your ab muscles, just incorporate these core strengthening poses in your yoga routine. If you’re still a beginner at yoga or even if you haven’t even done it yet, these poses are still great for getting rid of that belly fat and keeping your tummy flat.