No fitness plan is complete without working on the core! Since the core is at the center of your body, it stabilizes it and allows you to move in any direction. When you have a strong core, you will have better balance, less back pain, and good posture.
However, having a strong core is easier said than done—just like your other body parts, it will also take a lot of work to get to where you want to be. If you’re going to strengthen your core muscles effectively, we recommend attending fitness classes incorporating yoga poses for core strengthening.
Here are some of the best yoga poses that can significantly improve your core strength:
Full Boat Pose
Through Paripurna Navasana (full boat pose), you can build strong abdominal muscles to support your back. By coordinating your limbs with your torso while strengthening your spine, you’ll learn a lot about your breathing, attention span, and emotions.
This compact pose that draws everything toward your center—from the abdomen, spine, front of the trunk, shoulder blades, to the chest—can penetrate beyond the muscles to your innermost core. Once you master the full boat pose, you will feel physically and mentally strong.
Navasana is vastly different from your regular gym crunch. To perform this yoga pose, you have to:
- Sit with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent.
- Lift your chest and bend your knees.
- Raise your legs until they are parallel to the floor.
- Extend your arms forward, palms facing in.
- Exhale and straighten your legs without rounding your back.
- Maintain this structure for five to ten breaths.
Side Plank Pose
The Vasisthasana (side plank pose) instead is one of the easiest ways to work your obliques, the two layers of muscle that run along the sides of your core. With these muscles, you can rotate and bend your trunk and help protect your spine. If you want to strengthen and tone your core, then you have to work your obliques.
There’s no better way to train your obliques than the side plank pose!
The Vasisthasana may just be a basic posture, but it is essential in building endurance strength in your body. The sideways position can strengthen the muscles in your shoulders, hips, and obliques without stressing your back, which is why many professional athletes include this in their training.
- Shift your weight onto your right arm while rolling onto the outside of your right foot.
- Once you’ve lied on your right side, make sure to stack your feet on top of each other.
- Place your elbow under your right shoulder. Your forearm should be pointed away from you, and your hand must be balled into a fist.
- Lift your left arm towards the ceiling.
- After three to five breaths, rest in Downward Facing Dog and do the other side.
If you want to focus on your abdominal muscles while strengthening your core, then Setu Bandhasana (bridge pose) may just be perfect for you! The bridge pose is not only great for strengthening the core—it is also an excellent way to energize and rejuvenate the body.
With regular practice, the bridge pose can strengthen your back body, improve digestion, and boost energy. Although the bridge pose is perfect for strengthening your body, we do not recommend this for people with recent or chronic injuries to the knees, shoulders, and back.
To perform the bridge pose, you must:
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground.
- Slide your arms alongside the body with the palms facing down.
- Inhale as you lift your hips while keeping the knees hip-width apart.
- Lift the chest by pressing down into the arms and shoulders.
- Hold your pose for four to eight breaths.
- Exhale slowly and roll your spine back to the floor.
Strengthen the Core With Yoga
Strengthening the core isn’t just for those who want a six-pack—core-strengthening exercises can benefit anyone! As long as you work with a skilled personal trainer, every yoga pose can be a core-strengthening exercise. So make sure to pay close attention and attend your fitness classes for strong core muscles in no time!
Are you having difficulty strengthening your core muscles on your own? Our staff and personal trainers at Kalev Fitness Solution can help you achieve your fitness goals and more! Exercise with a personal trainer one-on-one, in group personal training, partner training, or simply enjoy your freedom in our elite Vancouver fitness studio.