Having a strong core is important forab carrying out a lot of different exercises.
Yoga can help you to strengthen your core and build up the muscles that support it, making yoga an excellent exercise for strengthening your back and abdomen.
But what yoga positions are best for helping you to strengthen your core muscles?
Although yoga is used to relax your mind and body, it is extremely effective in making your core muscles stronger.
You will be able to see an improvement in your core strength through yoga as well as other exercises such as weightlifting.
Having a strong core is essential for maintaining your balance and strength during a variety of different exercises.
This article will help you to see which yoga poses are the best for strengthening your core muscles, so you can begin to feel stronger in yourself.
Find out more about which positions can help you to develop your muscles below!
How Does Strengthening Your Core Help Your Body?
When you begin to strengthen your core, you will see an improvement in lots of different areas of your life.
If you suffer from back pain, strengthening your core can help to improve your posture as strong core muscles can help you to stand up straight and improve your balance.
Balance is important in lots of other exercises such as running, where having a strong core is vital.
Your core muscles help to keep you upright and to maintain a stable center while you run, so it is essential to train these muscles to help you succeed in running.
Strengthening your core can also help you to carry out any type of physical activity with ease.
When your core muscles are strong, they will allow you to lift heavier weights than if your core were weak. This means that you will have less chance of injury when lifting heavy objects or doing other activities.
What Yoga Poses Can Strengthen Your Core?
Below you will find some yoga poses that will help you to develop a strong core and see an increase in your strength.
You may be familiar with some poses already, but if not, don't worry! Learn how to perform these yoga poses and begin to see your core strengthen!
The Eagle pose is very popular as it allows you to strengthen your deep core muscles, so you can improve your balance and stability.
To begin the Eagle pose, begin in the Awkward Chair pose where your feet are shoulder-width apart, your knees are bent, and your arms are straight above your head.
For the Eagle pose, transfer all of your weight onto one of your legs to begin the pose.
Begin to lift one of your legs off the floor and then wrap it around your other leg.
You can wrap your leg around your other leg as much as you can, just make sure that you do not hurt yourself.
Position your arms out to the side and then twist your arms around each other until your palms can lock together.
Hold this position for up to 5 breaths and then slowly begin to unwrap your arms and then unwrap your legs.
You can repeat this position on the other side, but make sure that you keep your core engaged throughout the whole movement to strengthen your core muscles.
High Lunge Pose
The High Lunge pose helps to train your core muscles as you need to keep upright in this position to remain balanced.
Engaging your core is important for maintaining your balance , so you can successfully remain stable in this pose.
Beginning in Downward Dog, bring one of your feet up to your hand on the same side. Softly bend your knee and make sure that your ankle is stable, and your thigh is parallel to the floor.
Release both arms from the floor and position them over your head, so they are pointing up towards the ceiling.
Hold this pose for around 5 breaths, but only hold the pose for as long as you can. Keep your core engaged to make sure that you are able to hold this position and remain upright.
Come back to Downward Dog and then repeat the movements on the other side.
If you are a beginner, you can begin with your hands on your hips until you feel more confident in your balance. The stronger your core becomes, the longer you will be able to hold this position.
Half Moon Pose
The Half Moon pose is another great move for practicing your balance and improving your core muscles.
By having a strong core, you will be able to hold this position as it involves balancing on one leg.
To start, begin in the High Lunge position and place your hand in front of your front foot. Straighten your front leg and your back leg, so there is a horizontal line forming from your head to your back foot.
Your hand does not need to be touching the mat, but if you are a beginner, you can use a stool to support you.
Hold this position for 5 breaths, but only for as long as you can build up to holding this position for longer. Make sure that if you are using a stool, you are able to hold it properly, so you are supported.
Side Plank Pose
The Side Plank pose allows you to strengthen your core muscles and obliques.
This position involves you balancing on one arm and leg, so it involves you making sure that you engage your core to help you remain stable.
Begin in a Plank pose on straight arms so that you are held up by your toes and arms. Make sure that both of your legs are straight and place one of your feet on top of the other as you roll onto one side.
Make sure that the arm that is touching the floor is straight and that your other arm is pointing up at the ceiling.
Hold this position for 5 breaths, keeping your core engaged to help you balance on one side. If you can't hold this position for that long, work up to holding it for longer.
Slowly move back to the Plank position and then repeat this pose on the other side.
Make sure that your core is engaged throughout, and even try lifting your top foot up if you are looking to make the pose more difficult.
Performing this correctly is also an effective exercise for diasis recti, a common condition in women who have just given birth.
Down Dog Splits
Begin the pose on your hands and knees and make sure that your toes are curled under, so they are touching the floor.
Straighten your legs to lift your hips, so you are in the Downward Dog pose. Keep your stomach sucked into your spine to strengthen your core.
When you inhale, lift one of your legs until it is as high as you can get it, but make sure that your hips are still facing the floor.
Make sure that your hips do not twist to lift your legs higher, keep them facing the floor. Hold this position for 5 breaths before lowering the lifted leg to come back to Downward Dog.
Repeat this pose on the other side by extending the other leg. To make this position more difficult, move your extended leg in circles both clockwise and anti-clockwise.
The Boat pose can strengthen your core as it requires you to balance in this position. To begin the Boat pose, sit upright on your mat and lift your legs so that you are sitting in a V-Sit pose.
Do not let your back sink back as you need to keep it straight. Position your arms at your sides and lift them, so they are raised straight in front of you.
Hold this pose for as long as you can, engaging your core muscles to keep balanced. If you are a beginner, you can hold onto the back of your thighs to help to ease you into the movement.
You can also turn this pose into a sit-up if you are looking to make it more difficult. Slowly lean back and bring yourself back to the Boat pose. Repeat this as many times as you can!
To conclude, yoga is a great way to strengthen your core muscles as yoga involves a lot of balance.
In order to make sure that you are stable in these yoga positions, you need to engage your core to make sure that you are balanced and do not fall.
Lots of poses rely on your balancing on one arm and one leg, so you need to use your abdominal muscles to hold you upright.
There are different ways to make these poses easier or more difficult depending on your experience level, but you can always work up to completing these poses.
Do not force yourself into poses that you find difficult as you could injure yourself.
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