This post is all about the core and strengthening it through yoga. The core, is one of my favorite areas of the body to work, because of how vital it is for a healthy body.
Bad back? Core.
Fall over all the time? Core.
Want to be a better athlete? Core.
Bad credit? Core.
Relationship problems? Core.
Okay, maybe those last two were an exaggeration, BUT you get the point. Having a strong core helps keep your back healthy and improve balance (amongst other things, but those are biggies).
It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your yoga journey (even if you don’t like yoga!), working the core is one of the best things you can do for your body since it connects so many parts of the body. The core isn’t just your fancy six-pack, it encompasses the side and back of the upper body. The core covers a lot of ground, which is why it’s so important!
And (big surprise) having a strong core helps you in your yoga practice by making challenging poses more accessible. Hello, elusive handstand.
Related: if you’re working on your inversions and arm balances, fill out the form below and I’ll send you my tips and tricks for ten arm balances and inversions!
If you’re anything like me, you loathe holding plank for minutes on end. Does anyone actually enjoy doing that anyway?
This is why I’ve provided seven yoga poses for core strength that do NOT involve holding plank for an eternity. While some of these are plank-based, these are mostly dynamic movements to make your core work seem ‘fun’. Or at least as fun as it can be. 🙂
Use these poses to spice up your yoga classes or add in at the end of your run to continue working that core.
Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Starting in plank position, exhale as you lower the knees to hover an inch above the ground. Inhale as you bring the knees back up into high plank. Complete ten rounds.
Side Plank Elbow to Knee
Move from high plank into a side plank with the right hand on the ground. Root into the top foot as you gently lift the bottom foot. Pull the left elbow to the right knee, keeping the stabilization in the right hand and left foot. Complete ten rounds and move to the other side.
Either coming back to a high plank (if your core is crazy strong!) or coming to a tabletop position on your knees, inhale as you lift the left arm and right leg. Keep the core activated to avoid dumping into the low back. Bring the hand and knee back down as you switch to the other side. Complete ten rounds on each side.
Coming to sit on the hips, roll back extending the arms above the head and bringing the legs hip width distance. Inhale as you pull yourself up into a crunch. Exhale to lower back down. Repeat ten times.
Pausing at the top of your last Star Crunch, either straighten the legs or keep bent and release the hands by the side. Hold here for five strong breaths and complete three times.
Hollow Body Hold
From Boat Pose, exhale to lower down to be nearly on the tips of the shoulder blades keeping the legs elevated. Press the low back into the ground and hold for five strong breaths and complete three times.
Lying Leg Switches
Staying on the tips of the shoulder blades, bring the legs together and extend up. Reach the hands towards the feet, exhale as you bring the left hand towards the right foot and the right hand by the side. Inhale to come back up to center; exhale and come to the other side. Repeat for ten times on each side.