The Yoga Workout for flat Abs
Yoga works your whole body-mind, body, and
spirit. These poses will engage your abs as well as help you feel relaxed and
renewed. Stretches that elongate your abdominals will help create that strong,
lean middle. Doing yoga regularly will improve your flexibility, posture, and
strength, while giving you that fringe benefit you're looking for-sculpted abs
muscles. Try these yoga moves.
Stand with your arms at your side and your feet
hip-width apart. Your toes should face forward. Raise your arm above your head,
pointing your fingers upwards. Bend sideways at the waist, extending up and out
to your left. Hold for a few seconds and return to center. Repeat on the right
side. Do 3 to 5 times.
Stand tall with your feet 3-feet apart. Turn
your left foot out 90 degrees while keeping your right foot pointing forward.
Extend your arms out to either side at shoulder height. Bend to your right at
your waist, keeping your chest facing forward, and place your right hand on your
shin as your left arm reaches up. Your eyes should look skyward (if this hurts
your neck, look down). Hold for 15 seconds and return to the starting position.
Switch feet and sides. Do 3 times on each side.
Lie on your belly, hands flat on the floor
close to your chest. Lift your upper body by pressing the tops of your feet and
shins into the floor as you press your hands into the floor and straighten your
arms. Breathe. Hold for 40 seconds.
Stand with feet planted, arms at sides and body
in alignment (ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over ankles).
Inhale and bend the right leg, pulling the heel up until it rests on the inside
of the left thigh. Get your balance and hold this position, then slowly push
arms overhead, palms touching each other. Press the knee back without moving
the hips. Hold this for 30 seconds then switch sides.
Repeat 2-3 times
Sit with your legs together stretched straight
in front of you. Point your toes. Inhale and stretch toward your toes with your
finger tips, keeping your body long and extended. Hold for thirty seconds.
Breathe normally. Return to the starting position. Repeat.
Sit on the floor stretching straight up through
your spine. Bring the heels of your feet together, with your knees bent and
pointing out to the sides. Let your legs open towards the floor to a position
where you are comfortable. Hold your feet in your hands and slowly stretch
Lower your head toward your toes as far as you can. Hold for 5 seconds
then return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times to help open hips and warm
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet
hip-width apart. Rest your arms at your side. Using your abdominal, lift your
hips as far as you can off the floor. Your head, shoulders, and arms should
remain on the floor. Keep your thighs parallel. Hold. Repeat 5 times.
Lie on your stomach so that your chin is on the
floor and your arms are extended in front of you. Engage your abs. Inhale and
lift your arms, chest, head, legs, and feet off the floor. Hold for 3 seconds
then slowly lower to the floor. Repeat 5 times.
Get on all fours and look straight ahead with
your back as flat as a table. Exhale and arch your back upwards while tucking
your chin to your chest. Inhale and arch your back downwards, swaying the low
back as you look toward the ceiling. Repeat up to 5 times.
Lie on your back and bring your knees to your
chest. Rest your hands over your head on the floor behind you and raise your
legs with feet flexed toward the ceiling. Use your ab muscles to slowly guide
your legs downward. stop when you feel your back arching. Hung your legs to your
chest again. Repeat. Build up to 10 in a row.
Dos and Don'ts
Do go slow
Using slow, controlled motions will ensure
momentum isn't at work, but that your abs muscles are. Zooming through the moves
won't ensure as much muscles recruitment or involvement. If an exercise seems
too easy, check your form and try again s-l-o-w-l-y. Chances are a minor
correction to your form and a slower pace will make a big difference in how
effective the exercise is.
Don't hold your breath
breath is essential in yoga and during
exercise in general. Taking deep inhalations and exhalations will not only wake
up the muscles but also help you stretch deeper when performing yoga. And your
breath will also help stabilize and strengthen you for other core-building
moves. Whenever you feel like you've stretched as far as you can or cannot do
one more rep, take a deep inhale. Feel your muscles sink into a deeper stretch
or help you push through one more rep.
Do say "Om"
In yoga, the mind-body connection is essential.
Take a few moments to clear your
mind and get in touch with your body before
starting yoga moves. Take deep, cleansing breaths, and listen to your body. Only
do a little more than you thought you could and tackle more next time. At the
end of your work-out, use your cool down to close your eyes and connect within
for a more peaceful, centered you.