Strong ab muscles don’t only make us feel more confident in the sunny summer months, but also benefit the body in many unknown ways. Did you know that investing in strengthening your core contributes to the following:

  • Better athletic performance
  • Better posture
  • Less back pain
  • Better breathing
  • Stronger spine
  • A longer torso

While yoga has many benefits that help with flexibility and balance, nearly every yoga pose affects the abdominal region in one way or another. However, if you’re looking to toughen up your abs before the weather gets hot, hot, HOT; here are a few poses you can focus on to get where you want to be sooner rather than later.

Plank

Plank Pose is a big part of the Vinyasa Yoga practice. Planks are a major movement within every sun salutation, and whether you take the pose on your feet or modify on your knees, you’re building up those ab muscles with each and every breath.

CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Maribeth says, “Take your plank to the next level by lifting up opposite legs and arms while in the pose and move from high plank to low plank. Playing with balance and incorporating small movements like these can make a big difference in your core.”

Half Moon

In Half Moon – your limbs may be stretching in every different direction, but while all this movement is taking place, your core acts as the glue that holds it all together and keeps you from losing balance.

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CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Take your half moon to the next level by keeping your hand off the ground or taking a bind.

Dancer

Balance poses like dancer, tree, eagle and airplane all rely on the strength of your core and spine to keep you from falling.

dancer-pose

CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Playing with small movements within these poses intensifies the exercise.

Boat

Boat may be the most targeted pose that strengthens the abdominal region.

boat-pose

CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Maribeth recommends moving from low boat to high boat slowly. “You have to stay in the pose (and feel the pain) long enough to actually shred the muscle. Don’t give up!”

Any Inversion

Darcy says, “In inversions – you have to stabilize your body from your core. From your pubic bone to collar bone and 360 degrees around that area is engaged in each inversion.” Inversions don’t just look cool – they make us stronger!

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CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: “Just playing with inversions and taking leaps of faith makes us stronger, and more fearless. It’s ok if you fall – that’s called courage!” – Darcy