Yoga Exercises that Strengthen the Core Muscles

By Patricia | January 27, 2009
Core-Strengthening Yoga Exercises

It is imperative that we first identify the major Core Muscles of the body. These include the following:

  • Transverse Abdominis – This is the deepest of all abdominal muscles and is situated below the muscles of the waist). They act like a weight belt that wraps around the spine for stability and protection. Target Exercise for this is Phalankasana (Plank Pose).
  • External Obliques – These muscles are located on the front and side of your abdomen, around the waist. Target Exercise for this is the Arm Sweep.
  • Internal Obliques – They are situated beneath your external obliques, but run in the opposite direction. Target Exercise for this is the Crossover Crunch.
  • Rectus Abdominis - This is a long muscle extending along the front of your abdomen. This constitutes the 'six-pack' part of your abs that shows up so beautifully with reduced body fat. Target Exercise for this is the Stomach Crunch.
  • Erector Spinae – Actually this muscle is a group of 3 muscles from the neck to the lower back. Target Exercise for this is the Back Extension.

It is wise to target these muscles in all workouts, Yoga or otherwise. While abdominal muscles cannot be separated, as they all function and move together in each exercise, there are certain Core Yoga Poses that help particular portions of your abs, as listed below.

Core Yoga Poses

  • Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) – This pose gives a gentle massage to your belly and spine as well as all the internal organs.
  • Dolphin Plank Pose – This is a modification of Phalankasana (Plank Pose). It helps strengthen and tone up your core muscles, arms and thighs.
  • Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) – This pose helps you balance on the tripod of your tailbone and posterior bones, thus developing the abdominal and deep hip flexor muscles.
  • Phalankasana (Plank Pose) – This pose is an excellent precursor to some of the taxing arm balances to follow.
  • Anantasana (Side-Reclining Leg Lift) – This side-reclining posture stretches your calves and hamstrings, the sides of you torso, while toning up your abdominal muscles.
  • Bakasana (Crane Pose) – This is a compact arm balance that helps strengthen and tone up your arms and abdominal organs.
  • Dolphin Pose – This is an excellent shoulder opener that strengthens your core muscles, legs and arms.
  • Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose) – This is really a happy pose that gently gives you greater awareness, particularly in the region of your hip joints.
  • Bhujapidasana (Shoulder-Pressing Pose) - This is an excellent arm balance that relies more on specific positioning rather than strength. It thus makes it more accessible to students beginning their arm balancing practices.

While working out, see that you use and exercise all of your abdominal muscles, your lower and upper obliques as well as the muscles of your lower back.

Related Articles
Most Popular Most Recent
Copyright © 2023 Mac Millan Interactive Communications, LLC Terms of Use | Sitemap
The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
See additional information. Use of this site is subject to our terms of service and privacy policy.