Yoga practice is becoming so popular these days—and for so many good reasons. It helps improve our health, strengthen our bodies, and relax our minds. It’s a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. One of the things that yoga is good at is developing core strength. When your core is strong, you are more likely to possess a good posture and you can easily relieve neck and back pain that is caused by weak muscles. Building your core strength will certainly leave a positive impact on your spine as well.
Yoga for core exercise is such an effective workout. Why? Because you will be focused on engaging all of your core muscles. If you’re looking for a good yoga routine to test and strengthen your core, we’ve laid out a list of yoga poses that you can follow.
Read on to know more!
Understanding the core and how it works
What is the core and why do we have to exercise it? Basically, the core helps us move our arms and legs with force by stabilizing our pelvis, shoulders, and spine. It is the system of muscles that makes up the torso of our body but it also includes the muscles that connect our torso to our limbs.
When you practice yoga for core, it will help you improve your yoga poses. It will make it easier for you to have a smooth transition from one yoga pose to another. If you have a strong core, you wouldn’t have to worry so much about trying out the more complicated yoga postures and positions because you are much more capable of handling your balance.
Yoga For Core Strength: The 7 Yoga Poses You Should Try
If you’re thinking about adding core-centered yoga poses to your workout routine, try following the ones we listed below:
1. Plank Pose / Forearm Pose
Pretty sure that you are familiar with the plank pose. This is a common position being done in many types of exercise, including yoga. It may look simple but when you are actually doing it, it’s a different store. The plank pose is a bit of a challenging pose because it engages and strengthens all of your core muscle groups.
How to do it:
- Start by laying down face-first on the yoga mat with your elbows pointed upwards and your hands on the mat below your shoulders as if you’re going to do a push-up.
- Slowly lift yourself up as you draw your belly in toward your spine. Keep your core tight and engage your thigh muscles. Avoid shrugging your shoulder blades.
- Feel and engage all of your core muscles as they stabilize your spine and pelvis.
- Hold the pose for a good 30 seconds before moving on to the next.
Benefits: You can lift heavier objects, you can move faster, and you can reduce the risk of having a back injury.
2. Side Plank Pose
The difference between the side plank pose and the original plank is that you are balancing yourself on one arm instead of both.
How to do it:
- You can begin the side plank by lying on your side with your arm propped up against the mat with your elbow directly under your shoulder. You can choose from laying your forearm on the mat or pushing yourself up with your hand.
- Place or stack one foot on top of the other. Make sure that your weight is concentrated on the outside of the foot that is against the mat. Extend your other arm up toward the ceiling.
- Engage your abdominal muscles as you lift yourself up. Focus on contracting your glutes and external obliques on the side of your body that is closest to the ground. Lengthen your spine and draw your front ribs in.
Benefits: It builds your oblique strength and identifies your muscle imbalances and weaknesses.
3. Boat Pose
It is clear that the boat pose is one of the more challenging yoga poses on this list. It’s more difficult because it demands more work from your hip flexors and lower abdominal muscles. If this posture is way too hard for you, you can modify it by using a yoga prop like a strap to use around your feet so that you can hold onto something while you are doing the pose. If not, you can just keep your knees bent while doing the pose at first. Eventually, your body will adapt and you’ll learn how to do it perfectly.
How to do it:
- Start the boat pose with a sitting position on the mat with your legs extended out in front of you.
- Slowly and gently lean back and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle. Do your best to straighten your legs and remember to point your toes.
- Try reaching your hands towards your feet. If not, you can opt to keep them at your sides and just raise them a few inches above the ground.
- Your chest should be out and your shoulders are at the back.
- Engage your abdomen and breathe softly for about 30 seconds.
Benefits: This strengthens your abdominal muscles and improves your balance and digestion.
4. Bridge Pose
The bridge pose is also a common position being done in fitness programs. It looks like you are arching your body backward. It seems uncomfortable but it actually is a pose with a lot of benefits to the body.
How to do it:
- Lay on your back on the yoga mat. Keep your knees and feet a hip-width distance apart from each other. However, make sure that the heels of your feet are aligned with your knees.
- Engage your glutes as you lift your pelvis off the ground. Lengthen your spine.
Benefits: This pose stretches the stabilizers of your hip abductors, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus.
5. Downward-Facing Dog Pose
The downward-facing dog is a well-known type of yoga pose being done in yoga classes. It’s also considered to be a good core workout. It’s a great way to strengthen and tone your abdominals.
How to do it:
- From a standing position, gently bend your torso forward. Use your hips as you point the crown of your head towards the floor. Put your right hand and left hand on the mat with your arms stretched.
- Both your hands and feet should be hip-width apart.
- Tuck your chin into your chest and engage your pelvic floor as you lift your hips and buttocks up.
- Keep your legs straight and formed into an inverted v-shape. Your heels need to be firmly planted on the mat.
Benefit: Tones the core and waist, stretches the spine and also lengthens the calves and hamstrings.
6. Locust Pose
The locust pose is a type of backbend that is also good for engaging the core muscles. It appears to be a unique position that makes it look like you’re flying (that is if you weren’t on the ground).
How to do it:
- Begin the pose by lying on the mat on your belly. Keep a hip-width distance between your feet. Keep your arms on your sides with your palms facing up.
- As you inhale, lift your head, chest, and legs off the ground. Pull your shoulder blades towards each other.
- Lengthen yourself through your spine.
Benefits: This pose stimulates your abdominal organs and improves your posture.
7. Warrior III Pose
This pose is a very effective way to build up and strengthen the stabilizer muscles throughout your body. It also a position requires a lot of core strength. It involves standing on one leg which means a challenge on your ability to balance yourself, but at the same time, it also connects you to all the joints and tissues of your feet and ankles.
How to do it:
- To start the pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Your weight must be distributed evenly between them.
- Move your right foot forward in front of your left foot. Make sure to shift your weight to the foot in front.
- Extend your arms up to the ceiling and keep your palms together in a praying position.
- Lift your left leg from behind you and make sure it’s straight. Bend at your waist until your body is parallel to the floor. Focus on contracting your abs as you hold the position for 30 seconds.
Benefits: It strengthens your glutes and erector spinae muscles.
Are you ready to take yoga classes for your core strength?
Here at Sweatbox Yoga, we offer yoga classes that are centered on teaching you yoga poses for building core strength. You can start your yoga practice with us where a reliable yoga teacher will be there to guide you. We guarantee that our classes will make a good difference in your body and overall health. Together, let’s build the strength of your core!