Core Strengthening Exercises

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on March 8, 2013

The topic of exercise is vast, and over the years has advanced to a stage where people target specific muscles for exercise. Yet only now are many of the workout plans are taking into consideration the strengthening of the core muscles rather than beefing up the visible ones.

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Core strengthening exercises

The core muscles are those muscles that are used to support the body. They are mostly internal muscles, and usually it is a weakness of the core muscles that causes injury while performing any physical activity. Core muscle strengthening is therefore very important, and there are a number of yoga poses that help you do this.


Below we outline various different poses for men, women, children, and the elderly to help them strengthen their core muscles.

Core strengthening exercises for men

Men invariably want to have stronger bodies than women, and the core exercises for men are much more strenuous to hold than for women. Below is a list of the best poses for men:

  • Bakasana (Crane Pose)
  • Ardha Phalakasana (Low Plank Pose)
  • Purvottanasana (Inclined Plane Pose)
  • Phalakasana (Plank Pose)
  • Paripurna Navasana (Upward Boat Pose)
  • Eka padanavasana (One Leg Boat Pose)

Core strengthening exercises for women

Women are not as interested in physical strength as men are, and the yoga poses for women are therefore slightly milder. They are, however, very good poses, and they will strengthen the core muscles simply by holding them for 30 seconds at a time.

Find below a list of the best yoga poses to strengthen core muscles in women.

  • Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend)
  • Eka padanavasana (One Leg Boat Pose)
  • Ardha Phalakasana (Low Plank Pose)
  • Paripurna Navasana (Upward Boat Pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana(Downward Facing Dog Pose)
  • Anjaneyasana (Crescent Moon Pose)
  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Core strengthening exercises for kids

Children below 12 need not practice yoga. Even if they do, it is recommended that they not hold the pose for longer than a few seconds. There is, however, nothing wrong in children above the age of 12 practicing yoga.

Below are some of the poses which are considered beneficial for kids.

  • Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
  • Niralamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Shrug)
  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasan (Bridge Pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  • Simhasana (Lion Pose)

Core strengthening exercises for seniors

Older people have a big problem with exercise. There is always a fine line between pushing themselves sufficiently to accrue benefit, while at the same time, not pushing themselves so much as to cause injury. Yoga is one of the few practices, which even the elderly can practice.

Below are some of the yoga poses that are considered good for senior citizens.

  • Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
  • Bidalasana (Cat Pose)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist)
  • Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
  • Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
  • Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Core strengthening exercises for back pain

Usually people who suffer from lower back pain are those whose core muscles are weak. There are a number of asanas (postures) in yoga that are specifically meant for strengthening the muscles of the back.

Below are some of the best exercises for back pain.

  • Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s Twist)
  • Setubanda Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
  • Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Bitilasana (Cow Pose)
  • Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Yoga is one of the best forms of exercises for the mind as well as the body. Many lifestyle-related problems such as spondylitis, arthritis, diabetes, blood pressure, hypertension, etc. can all be brought under control through yoga. However, it is best to consult a yoga professional before beginning any of these exercises, especially if you have not exercised before.

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