Best Yoga Poses for Core Strength Exercise
So you want to strengthen your core.
One of the best ways to do that (that doesn’t involve a single crunch) is yoga. Holding certain yoga poses for 1-2 minutes engages your entire core, strengthening and toning abdominal muscles. We recommend practicing yoga once per week, but if you’re unable, you may want to design an in-home routine.
The following images show each yoga pose, along with an alternative option. These alternative poses are suited for those new to yoga or those experiencing an injury. Here are our favorite yoga poses for core strength.
Plank – Kumbhakasana
When holding a plank position, engage your abs by drawing your belly button to your spine. You want to have a flat back.
Side Plank – Vasisthasana
Side planks target your oblique muscles. If you need help balancing, place your bottom knee on the mat.
Star Plank – Chatuspandasana
This pose is the next step following your side plank and targets your entire top side.
Chair Pose – Utkatasana
During the chair pose, engage your abs and lengthen your spine. Tuck your hips under, don’t stick out your backside.
Cat Pose – Marjaryasana
To get into this pose, we recommend starting with the Cow Pose. Then, arch your back and engage your lower abdominal muscles for a great toning exercise. The alternative option is to sit and draw your belly button to your spine, legs engaged.
Dolphin Pose – Ardha pincha mayurasana
When holding this pose, focus on lowering your shoulder and engaging your core muscles. If this becomes too difficult, slightly bend your knees.
Bridge Pose – Setu bandha sarvangasana
This pose is great for both your core and your glutes. Grabbing your hands underneath yourself, push your hips to the sky and hold.
Crow – Bakasana – Challenging
These next two are advanced yoga poses, but they will strength your core. We recommend starting in a Frog position (mandukasana) and slowly shifting your weight forward. Make sure you keep your focus out and not down.
Boat – Navasana – Challenging
Balancing on your coccyx, lengthen your back and legs and balance, with or without help from your upper body.
Complete Yoga Poses for Core Infographic
These nine yoga poses for core strength will have you feeling challenged and centered. To give yourself a boost after your workout, browse Vitamin World’s herbal and holistic supplements.