Yoga Poses For Core Strength

There are many reasons to focus on developing strong core muscles.

A strong core will give your body more stability and help you perform well athletically.

It will also improve your posture, protect your organs, and help you hold yoga poses for longer periods.

Yoga makes it east to develop very strong core muscles.

This article will share several yoga poses that concentrate on the core, helping you develop strong core muscles — improving your stability and general health

What muscles make up your core?

Contrary to popular belief the “core” muscles consist of more than abdominal muscles.

They include:

Muscles on the front of your body

Between the sternum and waist including the transverse and rectus abdominus.

Muscles on your mid to lower back

Including the erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, iliocostalis, and multifidus, spinalis, and longissimus.

Muscles on the sides of your torso

Including the internal and external obliques, and quadratus laborum.

Muscles on the hips and legs

Including Hip flexors, gluteus maximus and medius, hamstrings, and rectus femoris.

Effective poses

Here are some useful yoga postures that effectively target these muscle groups.

Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose is a very effective pose for strengthening the core muscles on the front and sides of the torso.

It also stretches the hamstrings while opening up the shoulders.

To perform the Dolphin Pose:

Step 1:

Start on your hands and knees.

Your knees should be below your hips and your forearms should on the floor with elbows below the shoulders.

Press the palms of your hands together.


Step 2:

As you exhale, lift your knees away from the floor, straightening your legs and raising your buttocks into the air.

Keep your elbows on the floor and look towards your feet.

Knees can be kept slightly bent if more comfortable.

Step 3:

Firm your shoulders and draw then away from your spine.

Hold your head up (don’t let it hang).

Step 4:

Straighten your legs if it feels comfortable and if you can do so while keeping your back straight.

Keep your abdominals tight.

Hold this poses for several breaths.

Dolphin Plank Pose

The Dolphin Plank Pose is very similar to the standard Plank Pose.

It is extremely effective at strengthening and toning the core, arms, and thighs.

This pose is a modification of the well-known Plank Pose.

To perform the Dolphin Plank Pose:

Step 1:

From Dolphin Pose, walk your feet backwards until your legs are in the plank position.

Keep your forearms on the ground and look towards your hands.

Your torso should be parallel to the floor.

Step 2:

Press your arms firmly against the floor and spread your shoulder blades away from your spine.

Step 3:

While pressing your front thighs towards the ceiling, resist by pushing your tailbone towards the floor.

Step 4:

Hold this position for between 30 to 60 seconds.

Side-to-Side Dolphin Plank

The side-to-side Dolphin Plank will continual work your front abdominal muscles, but also place some emphasis on the internal and external obliques.

To perform the Side-to-Side Dolphin Plank Pose:

Step 1:

From a Dolphin Plank position, walk your feet to the left.

Press more firmly through your right arm to remain balanced.

Step 2:

Lift both sides of your pelvis evenly, reaching back through thighs and heels for stability.

Lengthen your entire torso.

Step 3:

Hold this position for between 30 to 60 seconds.

Repeat on the other side.

Side Plank Pose

The Side Plank pose is excellent for strengthening the core while working the arms and shoulders.

It can be challenging to hold this pose at first, but eventually you will be able to hold it for over a minute.

To perform the Side Plank Pose:

Step 1:

Start in a plank position.

Step 2:

As you breath in, move your weight onto your right hand while rotating your legs to ground the outer portion of your right foot on the mat.

Stack your left leg over your right as you twist your torso — looking to the ceiling as you also stretch your left arm towards the ceiling.

Step 3:

Stay in this position for between 30 to 60 seconds, then come back to plank and repeat for the other side.

Upward Plank Pose

You can think of this position as the upside down plank!

It works many core muscles with a focus on the lower back muscles and groin muscles.

To perform the Upward Plank Pose:

Step 1:

Sit on your yoga mat with your legs straight in front of you.

Lean back 45 degrees and place your arms on the mat behind you for support (palms down).

Your arms should be slightly bent.

Step 2:

Move your back down slightly in preparation for the pose.

On an in-breath, press your hands down, press your feet down and move your torso towards the ceiling, keeping your legs straight.

Step 3:

If holding this position is too difficult, bend your legs slightly or move your feet towards your torso.

Hold this position for between 30 to 60 seconds (if possible).

Boat Pose

The boat pose places significant pressure on your abdominal muscles, which can be quite challenging.

However, it is one of the fastest ways to strengthen the core.

Step 1:

Sit on your yoga mat with your legs straight.

Rock back so you are perched on your tailbone and sitting bones.

Step 2:

Lift your chest and lean back as you elevate your straight legs from the floor.

Your body will form a v shape. Keep your arms parallel to the floor with hands strateched out.

Step 3:

Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds

Twisting boat

This variation of the boat pose will also test your obliques.

Step 1:

Enter the boat pose, whoever keep your knees bent so your shins are parallel to the floor.

Step 2:

As you exhale, twist your torso to the right, spreading your shoulders so your left arm remains in the direction of your legs, while your right arm is pointed the opposite way.

Step 3:

Inhale and return to boat pose, repeat for the other side.

Do between 10 to 15 repetitions.

Thanks for reading Yoga Poses For Core Strength.

By performing these poses regularly, you will develop powerful core muscles that help you in many aspects of your life.

author: Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international and domestic tax consultant who specialises in solving complex problems. As well as advising on tax matters, Stephen also enjoys exploring topics relating to physical and mental wellbeing. You can follow him on Twitter at SColeclough.


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