You do not need to do crunches to get flat abs – there are many yoga poses for flat abs you can do at home. Practicing yoga regularly will lengthen and strengthen your entire body. That means you will get sleek and toned muscles, not bulky ones that some women are afraid of obtaining sometimes. I don’t do any crunches, yet I have a flat stomach just from doing various yoga poses. That said, you need to be very patient with yourself if you can’t do all of these poses quite yet. Work at a speed that’s right for you, keep trying, don’t give up, and you will have a chiseled, flat stomach soon enough! I will note that eating healthy and doing some form of cardio will help you see your abs better, so working on those things as well is a good goal. Either way, these yoga poses for flat abs will be very beneficial to you.
Table of contents:
- boat pose
- downward facing dog with knee to nose
- plank pose
- side plank
- scale pose
- crow pose
1 Boat Pose
This is my favorite of the yoga poses for flat abs. You can do so many different variations of the pose, such as moving your legs up and down and pausing at certain heights. To perform this pose, go onto the ground and sit with your knees bent. Lean back, tucking your tailbone under your spine, contract your abs, and extend your legs out. Put your hands out in front of you, palms facing in. The goal of this pose is to get your feet as low to the ground as possible without actually touching it. Alternatively, it can be to grasp your ankles and bring your legs as close to your body as you can, keeping your back straight. Hold as long as you can, and keep building up.
2 Downward Facing Dog with Knee to Nose
One of the most popular yoga poses, downward facing dog, is a great yoga pose for your abs. That is, if you do this variation. It is good for the lower abs, because (if you do it right) you will be squeezing your lower belly tight. Go to downward facing dog position by getting on your hands and knees, pressing your hips up, extending your heels to the floor (if possible), and palms on ground. Next, alternate lifting one leg and bringing it as close as you can to your forehead or nose. Keep repeating with alternating legs until your lower abs burn and you can’t handle it anymore. Make sure you keep breathing deeply through any tension you might have.
3 Plank Pose
The plank has been getting a lot of attention lately for benefiting your abs. It is not often thought of as a yoga pose, but indeed it is! I think this is what has helped my core get strong the most, and it is so good for your entire body as well (especially your arms!). You can perform the plank on either your forearms or hands, whichever you feel more comfortable with. Start by getting on your hands and knees, lift your knees and hips up, and keep your body in a straight line. Hold as long as you can, contracting your lower abs tight. I like to do three to five sets of one minute.
4 Side Plank
Now that you are toning your upper and lower abs, you can’t forget about your obliques on the sides of your body! This move will tone up those dreaded “love handles” that some people struggle with, especially if paired with some cardio. To do this yoga pose, get into plank pose by going on your hands and knees, and lifting your body into a straight line. Then, turn to the side, lifting one arm into the air and stacking your feet on top of each other. You can either perform this on your hand or forearm, just like plank. Try to keep your body in a straight line, keeping your side squeezed and lifted. Repeat with the other side, holding as long as possible. You can vary this pose by lifting the top leg up and grabbing it with your hand that isn’t on the ground.
5 Scale Pose
There are many yoga poses that require deep core strength to perform, so this may take some time to master. Scale pose can be difficult, and requires a good amount of upper body strength to perform as well. Don’t worry though; you will be able to perform this pose with enough practice! To begin, sit cross-legged on your yoga mat, and get into a nice full lotus pose. Lotus pose is simply sitting cross-legged, then gently pulling one foot on top of one thigh and pulling the opposite foot underneath to the top of the other thigh. Then, place your fingers on the ground and create a stable base by opening them wide. Lift your body in the air using your core and arms. Hold, lower, and repeat.
6 Crow Pose
The core strength required for crow pose is pretty intense, so don’t get frustrated if you can’t do it right away. Begin by squatting so low that your hands are on the ground, pushing your knees away from each other. Keep your feet together, extend your hands out in front of you, palms on ground, and bend your triceps so far that knees can be placed on them. Make sure you don’t look at the ground, because that will make you more likely to fall over. Have your fingers wide enough for a strong base, then lift up your butt and tailbone, placing your knees on your triceps. Make sure you engage your core the entire time! You can take it one leg at a time if you need to, jumping one leg up until you can hold it with both legs in the air. Hold as long as desired.
This may be the most difficult one to master, but if you practice a press handstand you will be using pure core strength. Well, you will need it to lift your legs, but you need a lot of arm strength to actually press up. Practice the motion by going into downward facing dog, lifting your hips, and contracting your abs. Continuing to engage your abs, lift one leg to come into downward dog split. Gradually try hopping a little bit with your other leg, until you can use your core strength to lift both legs in the air and when you have enough arm strength to hold you up. It is a good idea to practice this by a wall and not on a hard surface to prevent injuries. Hold as long as you feel comfortable, building up until you can hold longer and even walk on your hands!
As you now know, yoga requires an immense amount of abdominal and core strength to perform certain poses. Over time, you will be able to have the strong and defined core you desire, all without crunches! What is your favorite way to tone your abs?
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