Can I get abs by doing yoga?
The answer to this question is… maybe? It depends on how you define “abs.” If by “abs” you mean a six-pack of well-defined abdominal muscles, then probably not. However, if by “abs” you mean a strong and healthy core, then the answer is a resounding yes!
While yoga will certainly help you tone your muscles and improve your overall fitness, it won’t specifically target your abdominal muscles the way that other exercises will. This is because most yoga poses focus on lengthening and stretching muscles rather than building them up.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some yoga poses, such as Navasana (Boat Pose) and Kundalini Kriyas, specifically target the abdominal muscles. However, these poses are generally only suitable for experienced yogis who have already developed a certain level of muscle strength. For the average person who just wants to get six-pack abs, yoga alone won’t cut it.
Let’s take a closer look at how yoga can help you build a strong core.
How Yoga Builds Core Strength:
When most people think of yoga, they envision slow, gentle movements and deep breathing. While yoga can certainly be relaxing, it can also be quite challenging, especially when it comes to building core strength.
Here are three examples of yoga poses that will help you build a strong core:
This pose is excellent for toning the abdominal muscles and strengthening the arms and legs. To get into the plank pose, start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
Keeping your back straight, lower your hips until your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then return to starting position. Repeat 2-3 times.
Crow pose is an excellent arm balance that requires significant core strength to maintain. To get into the crow pose, start in a squatting position with your feet together and your hands on the ground in front of you.
Place your knees against the inside of your upper arms and slowly lean forward, shifting your weight onto your hands. When your palms are flat on the ground, and your elbows are bent at 90-degree angles, lift your feet off the ground and rest them on top of your upper arms.
Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then slowly lower back down to starting position. Repeat 2-3 times.
Upward Facing Dog Pose:
Upward facing dog pose is a great way to stretch the chest and shoulders while strengthening the arms, legs, and abs. To get into upward facing dog pose, start lying on your stomach with your feet together and your palms flat on the ground next to your chest.
Pressing down into your palms, lift your torso and thighs off the ground as you open up through the chest. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then lower back down to starting position. Repeat 2-3 times.
7 Best Yoga Poses for Abs:
Once you’ve built core strength and stability, it’s time to make Abs more visible. The key is to find the right yoga poses for your abs and to focus on your breath. When you focus on your breath, you will be able to hold the pose longer, which will help you to get more out of it. The following are some of the best yoga poses for abs:
This pose helps to stretch the front body while strengthening the abs. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Next, press into your palms and begin to arch your back. Reach back with your right hand and grab hold of your right ankle. Repeat on the other side. Hold for 30 seconds.
This pose is great for toning the whole body, including the abs. Start by sitting on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly and begin to lift your feet off of the ground. Put your feet in alignment to your shoulders. Only go as far as you can while keeping your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds or longer if possible.
This pose helps to tone the sides of the waist and the arms. Start in a regular plank position with your feet together and your palms flat on the ground under your shoulders. Shift your weight onto your right hand and stack your left foot on top of your right. Slowly lift your hips off the ground and reach up toward the sky with your left hand. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
This pose helps to improve balance while toning the abs and legs. Start by standing with your feet together. Slowly lift your right foot and place it on your left thigh. If you can, grab hold of your right ankle with your left hand. Otherwise, place your hand on your shin or hip. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
This pose is great for toning the arms, legs, and abs. Start by standing with your feet together. Shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right leg off the ground behind you. Lean forward from your hips and reach your arms out in front of you parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
This pose helps to stretch the shoulders and upper back while strengthening the abs. Start by coming into a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Next, lower your forearms to the ground and interlace your fingers. Slowly begin to straighten your legs behind you as you lift your hips off of the ground. Hold for 30 seconds or longer if possible.
Extended Boat Pose:
Build core strength with this effective pose. Start by sitting on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly and begin to lift your feet off of the ground. Only go as far as you can while keeping your back straight. Reach your arms out in front of you parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds or longer if possible.
These are just a few of the best yoga poses for abs. Remember to focus on your breath and to hold each pose for at least 30 seconds. As you become more comfortable with the poses, you can hold them for longer periods of time. With regular practice, you will start to see results in no time!
So, there you have it! While you may not achieve washboard abs from doing yoga alone, you can certainly develop a strong and healthy core that will benefit you both inside and outside the gym! Give some of these poses a try next time you hit the mat!
Thanks very helpful!