5 Easy Yoga Moves to Do at Home to Build Your Abs

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Whatever type of yoga you're doing a strong core is vital in transitioning into and holding poses.

So many poses rely on your core to keep your whole body stabilized.

Having a strong core won’t just help you out in yoga but in so many over daily activities. It also helps support your lower back and help fight any future issues you might have faced.

If you have recently started yoga or are finding one pose is more difficult to hold than the others this blog for you.

Now you don't have to hit the gym three times a week or do a gazillion sit ups to build a strong core.

These 5 simple moves will help strengthen you core and get you ready for your next class.

Doing this routine twice a week at home will improve core strength, help reduce strain on the spine and prevent injuries by improving posture and balance.

You can do it when you wake up, before you go to bed or whenever you have a spare 10 minutes.

Go from one pose straight into the other.

Note: If you can't hold one pose for the designated time just hold it for as long as you can. Hold the next poses for the same period until you finish the circuit.

Let’s get into it...

1. The Plank

As staple move in building a strong core. It's a fairly simple pose to do but still requires practice.

The longer you can hold this pose the better so go for 15 seconds and move straight into the next pose.

If 15 seconds is easy try holding this pose for 30 or 60 seconds.

How to do the (high) Plank

1. Make sure your hands are planted directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart). Like your about to do a push up.

2. Your toes should be slightly curled under so that some weight is on the balls of your feet.

3. Engaged your glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs should be working in the move too; careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.

4. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot in front of your hands. Make sure to keep your head in line with your back.

5. Breathe deeply, allowing a regular inhale and exhale

Variation - The Forearm Plank

If you find you are struggling with the above, a “slightly” easier option would be the forearm plank.

  1. Kneel on all fours, bring your elbows to the floor making sure they are right below your shoulders.

  2. Bring back the left foot, straightening out the leg so that your body is parallel to the mat.

  3. Then put your right leg in the same position.Engage the quadriceps by lifting up the kneecap.

  4. Slightly scoop the tailbone until you feel your core naturally engage.

  5. Once you feel your abs engaged hold it there for 15 seconds.

  6. Slowly release the same way you came in.

Move into the next pose

Note: You need to keep your body in a straight line from the ears, through the shoulders and hips, and to the heels. Do not arch or sag.

2. Side Plank

Not only is this position a killer core exercise, but side planks help tone your shoulders, obliques, and legs from heel to hip.

How to do the Side Plank

  1. Lie on one side with the upper foot stacked on top of the other.

  2. Place one hand directly underneath and in line with your shoulder. Do not push up with your shoulder.

  3. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.

  4. Maintain a straight spinal alignment both horizontally and vertically.

  5. Do not let your hips or shoulders lean forward or back.

Hold for 10 seconds. Move into the next pose

3. The Boat Pose

The Boat Pose is great at building core strength and stability, just don’t forget to breathe.

In addition to the abdominal muscles, it works the deep hip flexors.

These muscles get lazy when you sit too much. It will also help you build your balance.

How to do the boat pose

  1. Sit on the floor or mat with your knees together bent in front of your chest, feet flat on the floor.

  2. Lift your feet off the floor. Keep your knees bent at first. Bring your shins parallel to the floor. This is half boat pose. Your torso will naturally want to fall back, but do not let the spine round.

  3. Engage your core as you shift your weight to balance on your sit bones, lifting your shins parallel to the floor.

  4. When you're ready to go into full boat pose, straighten your legs. Making a V with your torso and legs.

  5. Keep your torso as upright as possible.

  6. Hold for 10 Seconds.

Move into the next pose

4. The Awkward Pose

How to do the Awkward Pose

  1. Start in a standing position with both your feet next to each other in line with your shoulders.

  2. Extend your arms in front of you keeping them flexed and straight at the elbows.

  3. Slowly lower your hips so that your thighs become parallel to the floor. As if you were going to sit down on a chair.

  4. Lift your heals off the ground as if you were trying to stand on your tip toes

  5. Hold this position

Hold for 10 seconds. Move into the next pose

5. Warrior III (Airplane Pose)

This pose will engage your entire core to keep you in balance while keeping your body aligned.

How to do the Warrior III Pose

  1. Begin standing in a standing pose with your feet separated hip-distance apart and parallel to one another. On an inhale reach your arms up overhead.

  2. As you exhale, begin to extend your right leg straight back behind you as you shift your weight into your left foot and leg.

  3. Keep the right foot flexed and active (toes pointing down) and try to keep your balance on you left standing leg.

  4. Lift the inner line of the right thigh higher and drop the right hip down to ensure it remains level with the left.

  5. Move toward bringing the torso parallel to the floor.

  6. Tense the core and keep the low belly in to create more stability in your upper body.

  7. Keep your gaze down and the neck in a relaxed, neutral position.

Try and hold this position for 10 seconds.

To come out of the pose, slowly bring the right foot back to meet the left and raise the torso to a vertical position.

That's one circuit complete. Rest 30 seconds and start the circuit again.

Do this for as many times as you can.

Try and stick to this routine twice a week. Gradually build up the duration you can hold each pose and you will be well on your way to a strong core and improved balance.

Want more home workouts that can tone your abs? Check out our FiverFriday class guides which contains a 20 minute home ab workout routine.

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