We all want to have a flat stomach. However, some of those traditional abdominal exercises are not as enjoyable as the workout videos make them seem. The most functional way to sculpt and tighten your midsection is to incorporate more core work into the workouts you actually like.
Yoga is not only detoxifying and improves your flexibility, but it can also target your abdominal muscles in a more effective way than attempting to do 100 crunches a day. We have decided to let you in on our secret 11 best yoga poses for a flatter tummy while staying at peace.
This pose will have your equilibrium and abs working in overtime.
Stand with both feet together and shift your weight onto one leg. Draw your opposite knee toward your chest, grab your ankle, and place the bottom of your foot onto the opposing thigh. If you are feeling a bit unstable, bring your palms together in front of your chest. Tighten your abdominals into your spine and make sure you can still breathe steadily. Find a point on the wall to focus on while you hold the pose for 10 long, deep breaths. Slowly lower your leg and repeat with the other leg.
Warrior Lunge Twist
Your obliques will be fully engaged with this pose, while your center abdominals will help stabilize you.
Bring your hands into a prayer pose like you did with the previous pose. Lunge forward with one leg and bend your front leg about 90 degrees, keeping your spine straight. Engage your core and rotate your upper body to the same side as the bent leg. Keep your spine long and twist and lean over your leg. Press your opposite elbow into the outside of your thigh. Turn your head and look toward the ceiling. Hold for 10 long breaths and repeat on the other side.
Rock ‘n Roll Lotus
This is a fun move that will engage your core by using it to ‘stop’ your body.
Sit on the floor with your legs crossed at the ankles. Hold onto each ankle with opposite hands and elevate your legs off the floor. Balance on your bottom. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, begin to roll onto your back. Continue to roll until your shoulders and upper back touch the floor. Keeps your abs tight, and roll back into an upright sitting position. This counts as one rep. Repeat for 10 reps.
Downward Dog Variation
Your abdominals will be needed for every second of this pose.
Begin in the downward facing dog position. Extend one leg up towards the ceiling and point your toes. Shift your weight into your palms and begin to lower your body into a plank pose. Instead of putting your foot down, as you would in a plank, bend the extended leg and bring your knee into your chest. Press your hips back up and extend the same leg again. This is one rep. Repeat for 10 reps for both legs.
This pose will be a major balance challenge.
Stand straight up, feet together. Shift all your weight onto one foot. Extend your leg straight back behind you so it is parallel with the ground. Flex your extended foot so your toes are pointing down. Touch your fingertips to the ground to stabilize yourself. Reach your arms out above your head so your body is now in a straight line. Stand like this for 5 long breaths and return to standing. Repeat 10 times each leg.
This pose will engage your abs, thighs and back.
Come to your knees on the floor, shoulder width apart. Extend your arms so they are straight out in front of you, palms facing down. Lift your chest and slowly hinge backwards, arching through your lower back. Focus on opening up your chest and keeping your core tight. Return to the starting positing and repeat for 10 reps.
Bridge with Leg Sweep
This will tone your butt, hamstrings and abs.
Lay on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms straight to your sides. Tighten your core and press through your heels to bring your hips off the floor. While keeping your hips lifted, square to the ceiling and flex your foot. Tilt your leg to the opposite side and back to the other side. Try not to allow your hips to drop as you are moving your leg. Controlled movement is more effective. Repeat 10 times with both legs.
Extend Boat Pose
Build your endurance and core strength with this effective pose.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Lean back and lift your legs off the ground, keeping them straight. Hold your belly in and extend your arms to the sides of your thighs. Lower your legs to about 45 degrees until your body has a ‘V’ shape. Hold this position for 10 long breaths.
This pose actively engages your core while shifting your body back and forth to lift/lower your upper body.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. Place your hands behind you with your fingertips facing into your body. Press into your arms and lift your hips into a tabletop position. Tighten your core and extend your legs forward as you push your hips backwards. Hold for 3 seconds and keep your core engaged. Repeat 10 times.
Lotus Hip Lift
This pose may seem simple, but it will have you thinking twice when you try it!
Sit with your legs crossed and your palms on the floor. Your fingertips should be facing forward. Engage your core and press into your arms and shoulders to lift yourself a few inches off the floor. Hold for three seconds then slowly lower yourself back to the ground. If you cannot lift yourself off the ground, build your strength by simply pressing your arms and shoulders into the ground.
Stacked Side Plank
This is another pose that will have your obliques begging for mercy.
Lay on one side with your legs straight. Place one hand under your shoulder and push yourself up, lifting your hips into a side plank pose. Extend your free arm up to the ceiling. Breathe deep and try to hold this pose for at least 60 seconds. Lower your body slowly and repeat on the other side.