Yoga positions can help strengthen your core muscles such as the abdominals, transversus abdominis, pelvic floor muscles, and multifidus. Some yoga positions work by stretching these core muscles. Others focus on strengthening them through isometric contractions or movements to increase stability in lower back and spine areas.
Below we have outlined yoga poses that can help strengthen your core:
1) Boat Pose
The boat pose is a yoga posture that strengthens your core and helps develop balance. To do it, lie on the floor face-up with knees bent over hips and feet flat on the ground. Bring hands in front of the chest while keeping elbows bent at right angles. Tighten abs as you lift legs about two feet off the floor, thighs parallel to the ground, toes pointing up. Engage your glutes, and hold for as long as you can while balancing on the yoga mat.
2) Bridge Pose
The bridge pose is a yoga position that strengthens the lower back and tones your abs. Lie on the floor face-up. Lift yourself into the bridge by pressing down through your feet and lifting through your hips until you are in an inverted “V” position. Your shoulders should be off of the ground at this point as well, but do not push them up. Press through your arms and ground down with the tops of your feet, while allowing your hips to rise above your shoulders. Keep breathing throughout this yoga pose for maximum benefits.
3) Cobra Pose
The cobra pose is performed by first lying facedown on the yoga mat, legs straight behind you. You can either keep your forearms on the ground or hold onto a yoga block for added support as you lift your chest and shoulders off the floor while maintaining an upright position. Keep your palms flat on the yoga mat to push yourself up even more if necessary. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds, and keep breathing normally.
4) Plank Pose
The plank pose involves holding yourself at the top of a push-up position, with hands directly below shoulders and legs extended out straight behind you. You need to make sure your body weight stays on your toes and forearms as much as possible while maintaining good posture throughout this yoga pose. Try to keep your elbows and legs straight, and don’t let your hips sink. Maintain the pose for at least 30 seconds to get a good workout.
5) Side Plank Pose
Lie on your side with your legs straight and stack your feet one upon the other. Place forearm on the ground under shoulder level, perpendicular to the body. Use a yoga block or yoga mat underneath your arm for support. Raise hips up off the floor so that only forearms and toes touch down; tighten core muscles and hold the stomach tight. Hold for one minute.
If you are interested in learning yoga and strengthening your core, give our team at Cav Core Fitness in South Lyon a call. We have been practicing and teaching yoga for years to help people live healthier lives by improving their posture, reducing back pain, increasing energy levels, and more. Our yoga instructors are certified, so they can offer expert advice about how these postures work with your body. They also provide free consultations if you want to learn more before signing up for classes.