How to Tone Abs With a Yoga Ball?

(July 4, 2010)

Yoga is essential for improving the flexibility and health of every part of the body. In yoga, it is believed that the body is capable of stretching itself and extending itself and the various positions used are designed to help the body reach its limits and provide effective tone and circulation to the muscles that are being worked on.

Many people practicing yoga may be unable to perform certain stretches, especially the more advanced stretches. In yoga, the idea is that if the stretch is not possible, then a prop or tool should be used to help achieve the position. This prop or tool should be used either to achieve a position or to enhance the effectiveness of the position by improving the posture in that position.

The typical poses of the sun salutation cycle (surya namaskar) include the upward and downward facing dog. While shifting between these poses, the muscles around the abs are stretched and compressed continuously. Most forms of yoga do not advocate aggressive exercise, so the poses should be alternated slowly with more focus on a complete extension than on the speed of the pose. In the upward dog pose, the ball can be placed under the pelvis with the hands supported on the ball rather than the ground. In the downward dog position, the ball is used as an obstruction so that the body has to be raised high enough for the ball to fit under the body. The thighs and the breast area should be touching the ball with the area in between raised so that it avoids the ball. This gives a full stretch.

There are many different yoga ball exercises for abs. One of the more commonly used positions is the half moon position. The extended side angle pose is another pose that can be used with a yoga ball. In this case the ball is used to ensure the correct extension of the legs occurs so that the upper body stretching can be effectively done. It is a right and left sided position and can be alternated to provide a slightly aggressive yoga cycle. When attempting the right side pose, the right foot is pointing forward and the right knee is bent. The left leg is extended fully in the opposite direction. The ball is placed between the legs so that the pelvis rests on it. The right arm goes down to the right leg and the left arm points up to the ceiling.

Submitted by A on July 4, 2010 at 02:17

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