Everybody wants a toned and flat tummy, am I right?

Well, I always wanted one, but I didn’t have one. When I was younger, I’ve had quite a bit of fat around that area. Guess what I did?

Crunches. Lots and lots of crunches. Unfortunately, my muffin top didn’t disappear.

NOW, a few years later, I have toned abs. And to be honest, I don’t have a toned core, because I do so much crunches and leg raises. (only part of the reason)

But, because I do a lot of YOGA.

Yes, you heard it right! You don’t have to punish yourself with awful abs-workouts day in and day out. Yoga is a great tool to tone your core, as well.

Today, I want to show you my top 4 Yoga movements for a strong and sexy core. Let’s get right into it.

1. Dog into plank variation

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This is my all-time favorite for a strong core. I do this everytime I step on my mat. And trust me when I say it has worked wonders for my abs.

So, how to do it?

  1. Start in the downward-dog position. You are on all fours. Your butt reaches to the sky, while your head and feet nearly touch the ground. Keep your spine in one straight line.
  2. Inhale and move your whole body forward, so you end up in plank position. (with extended arms)
  3. During the whole movement, it is important to keep your core engaged.
  4. You can also bring one foot slowly and controlled to your chin.
  5. Repeat about 10 times.

2. The one-arm-and-one-leg-lift pose

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This pose is especially good for the obliques (the muscles on the sites of your core). Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of this pose, so I am just going to call it like this, haha.

It is also extremely good for practicing the handstand and headstand, as it trains the diagonal line of your body, which is responsible for stabilization and balance.

How to do it?

  1. Start in tabletop position.
  2. Slowly, start lifting the right leg to the sky (just so it is in one straight line with the whole body.)
  3. Simultaneously, raise your left arm to the front of you.
  4. Keep your hips align and your whole body in one line.
  5. Stay here for a few breaths.

3. Boat into half boat

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As you can see I really like to play with movements rather than only doing one pose and hold it. I think it is the key to a strong core.

For the next one, I decided on the boat into half-boat. This transition targets the lower and upper bit of the rectus abdominis, which runs from the pubis to the sternum.

Sorry for all the medical terms, I just did my Personal coach diploma and I am kinda proud of myself, haha.

So, how to do this Yoga movement?

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straightened in front of you.
  2. Lift your legs to a 45° degree and raise your arms, so that they are parallel to the floor.
  3. Create a V-shape with your body.
  4. Stay a few seconds.

Into the half boat…

  1. Slowly lean backward with your upper body, while lowering the legs a little bit.
  2. Engage your core muscles
  3. Bring your hands to the sites of your head.
  4. Stay a few seconds and transition back to the boat.

4. Headstand

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Ohh the headstand, kind of all the yoga poses. I have to admit, it takes a long process to learn this one.

If you want to I can write a whole blog post about how to learn the headstand. Just comment below and let me know if you would be interested.

How to do the headstand:

  1. Start in tabletop position. Bend and bring your elbows to rest on the mat. The should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bring your head to the mat. It should always be the crown of the head resting on the ground.
  3. Your hands support the back of your head.
  4. Lift your knees to balance on your feet
  5. Bring your feet closer to your head and your knees as close to your armpits.
  6. Tighten your core and lift your tippy toes off the mat.
  7. Now you are ready to lift and straighten your legs.
  8. If you want to come out of the yoga pose, just repeat the steps backwards.

My tipp for beginners:

As I was learning the headstand I always used the wall for support. This is the best way to learn the headstand when you are afraid of practicing in the room.

Final note

This was it. These were my favorite Yoga movements for the core.

Thank you so much for reading,

xx Hana

 

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