5 Yoga Poses for Great Abs
You don't have to spend all day at the gym to build a strong core. Instead, incorporate these 10 yoga poses for abs to your practice to get a killer core. Bonus points if you practice all 10 yoga poses in a dynamic flow!
1. Plank Plank
Let's face it, Plank Pose is one of those yoga poses we all have a love/hate relationship with. This stabilizing core strengthener will activate all the muscles in your core to help hold you still.
How to Practice Plank Pose:
- Start on your hands and knees in Tabletop Pose, and align your wrists directly under your shoulders
- Come to the balls of your feet as you extend your legs behind you, lifting your knees off the mat (it looks like the top of a push-up)
- Slightly tuck your tailbone to activate muscles in the lower belly
- Engage the muscles in your legs, lifting up through the quads to keep your body strong
- Keep your core strong to prevent hips from sagging down or picking up
2 Dolphine Pose
Dolphin Pose works the abdominals while toning the shoulders and lengthening the spine. Holding Dolphin Pose will engage all muscles in your core, both superficial and deep muscles.
How to Practice Dolphin Pose:
- From Plank Pose drop your forearms to the mat, keeping your wrist in line with your elbow and palm on the earth
- Keep elbows directly under the shoulders
- Lift your hips towards the sky, and walk your toes in towards your face – like a Downward
- Facing Dog on your forearms
- For more intensity, lift hips above the shoulders and relax your heels toward the ground
3. Dolphin Pose With Leg Lift:
Dolphin Pose with a leg lift fires up the front body – the muscles that run from just below your sternum to your waist. This Dolphin variation is one of the best exercises for core conditioning because it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
How to Practice Dolphin Pose With Leg Lift:
- Start in Dolphin Pose
- Walk your feet in towards your elbows to align your hips over your shoulders (or at least as much as possible!)
- Lift your head just enough to maintain a neutral neck – don't look too far forward or back
- Alternate lifting each leg toward the sky
4. Star Plank (Side Plank Variation)
This Side Plank variation will help tone those famous “love handles” or obliques. Your waist will activate as you lift the body, and your abdominals will be working to stabilize the entire body. By lifting the top leg, you will further strengthen your obliques and lower abs.
How to Practice Star Plank:
- From Plank Pose, shift your weight onto one hand and transition into Side Plank
- For less pressure on your wrists, drop down to your forearm for a Side Forearm Plank
- Stack your top leg on top of bottom, and slowly lift your top leg away from the bottom leg
- To modify the pose, simply drop to the bottom knee or keep the legs together
5. Upward Facing Plank Pose
Although you may initially feel this as stretch in your shoulders, arms and chest, Upward Facing Plank Pose also builds core strength while challenging and improving balance. This pose is a great way to counterbalance the motion of sitting at a desk for many hours of the day. In this Plank variation we open up the front body while strengthening the muscles along the spine.
How to Practice Upward Facing Plank Pose:
- Begin seated on your mat with legs extended long in front of you
- Bring your hands behind you, palms flat on the mat under your shoulders with your fingers facing your body
- Lift hips upwards and allow feet to fall towards the floor, pressing flat on the ground if possible