Yoga is becoming increasingly well-known for its ability to build up core strength and give people those desperately sought-after abs.
Whilst you may think there is no way holding a few poses will get you that six-pack, almost every pose in yoga engages the core meaning that just one yoga session is an intense workout for those abdominal muscles!
So, if you're tired of doing countless crunches to get that six-pack, why not try some of these yoga poses below to reach your goal!
1.Vasisthasana (Side Plank)
A basic pose which you have probably seen and done before. This is a great exercise as it engages the whole core in order to stabilize your balance but what this works on, in particular, are the obliques.
Holding this pose for merely 15-30 seconds before switching sides will cause you to improve core stability and set you well on your way to a six-pack.
If this is too hard for you to begin with, you can modify this pose and make it easier by placing the soles of your feet against a wall to help you stabilize. As you grow more confident, be sure to challenge yourself and move away from the wall.
On the other hand, if this is too easy, you can increase the difficulty by increasing the time length you are holding the pose and also transitioning to a star side plank by raising the leg that is not in contact with the floor to a perpendicular angle to make it harder to maintain your balance, increasing the strain on your core.
2.Paripurna Navasana (Boat Pose)
The Boat Pose was included in the 7 Best Yoga Exercises for Men due to its wide array of benefits to the body. It’s most notable being the impact it has on the abdominal muscles. Make sure to give that a read next.
This pose targets both the upper and lower areas of the abs giving you an all-around great ab pose which is very difficult to hold.
For those who find this pose difficult to hold (Don't worry, most do struggle in the beginning!), you can make this easier by having a partner hold your legs or using a band to support your legs, so you just have to focus on keeping your chest up.
For those who find this pose to easy – and there won't be many! You can make it harder by performing the twisting boat pose, where you hold a twisted position in mid-air for a certain amount of time before switching sides, working the obliques as well as the main abdominal muscles.
3.Bakasana (Crane Pose)
Another, very well-known yoga pose. But this one is for the experts. If you are just beginning this one will be hard to master however it is fantastic for building up the arms and the abs, improving your balance and your core stability.
A difficult one to perform, the majority begin by having a partner stand in front of them for safety as they build the muscle and the confidence to lean forward on their own.
It's probably best to build up a strong core with some of the other poses mentioned before diving into this one.
4.Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
This pose is simple to understand but is one that will get you results quickly if you do it on a regular basis.
Similar to a plank, this pose tenses your whole body with extra stress on your arms and abdominal muscles, holding this pose for 15-30 seconds before transitioning will provide you with a core workout that is sure to leave you sore the next day!
In order to make this pose a little easier, in the beginning, you can start with your knees on the floor in order to make it easier for you to align yourself before going up onto your toes once your core is stronger.
5.Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose)
This is a fun looking pose. I mean who doesn't love being upside down! But don't be fooled. This is a difficult balance that is great for your abs as you try to remain stable on only your forearms. This pose is impressive if you can nail it, but it requires a strong core and will take practice.
Before trying this one out, you should first begin in front of a wall to make sure you don't topple over.
As you learn to balance upside down, you should begin to be able to stop relying on the wall and slowly move away from it. Don't move away from it before you are 100% confident or else it could lead to some embarrassing falls!
6. Halasana (Plow Pose)
An uncomfortable looking pose, this one requires flexibility and a bit of yoga experience. It forces the participant to engage their core, challenging them to hold their legs over their head targeting the lower abs in particular.
This should be attempted after some previous yoga experience and slightly more hamstring flexibility. This one is much harder than it looks, trust me!
To make this difficult pose easier you can use an object, such as a chair, to hook your feet under. Once you become more advanced, you should be able to carry out this pose with no support.
In conclusion, all these poses are great for the abdominal muscles. They are not limited to targeting one area of your abdominal muscles either, they give a solid workout to all areas including the obliques, upper and lower abs.
These yoga poses give a challenging, all-around great ab workout.
Not to mention, these look much more fun than those thousands of crunches you've been doing. By doing these workouts on a regular basis, you will have the upper hand in getting that desired six-pack. Why not give it a go?