Thursday, December 27, 2012

3 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Core

Here are 3 of my favorite moves for strengthening the core. They can be done anywhere and anytime, all you need is a towel or yoga mat or just get down on the floor! 
These moves really connect us to our deep core muscles, which act as an inner girdle. When we tighten and tone our core, it helps us hold everything in and prevent a tummy pooch. You can rely on these moves and a healthy diet to feel confident and in control of your midsection.

The bird dog pose strengthens our core and back as well as our arms, hips and waist. 

Start on hands and knees and imagine you have a Skinnygirl drink on your lower back and one between your shoulder blades. Without spilling your margarita, reach your right arm forward and your left leg straight back behind you. Hold here for 30-60 seconds bracing your core. Come back to all fours before switching sides and staying dry! Repeat 3 to 5 times on each side. 

I love the boat pose for strengthening the pelvic floor inner thighs, lower abs and waist. 

Sit tall with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hinge back without rounding in the lower back as you lift your legs out in front of you at a forty-five degree angle. Keep drawing our lower abdominals in and up and lengthen out of your lower back. Hold here for 5 to 8 breaths. Lower down and repeat 2 more times. 
If this is too challenging with your legs straight, you can bend your knees so the shins are parallel to the floor.

If you only have time for one pose, the forearm plank is the ultimate core move.

It really works the entire midsection, deep core muscles and the back, waist, hips, legs, buttocks, arms and shoulders.  
Lie on your belly and place your elbows under your shoulders, tuck under your toes and press firmly through the back of your legs and heels. Engage your lower abs and tighten your core as you lift your body up off the floor coming in to one straight line of energy from head to toe. Don’t let your ribs splay open or your butt sag or lift too high. Hold for 45-60 seconds then lower down. Repeat 2 to 3 more times.

Which of these poses is your favorite?

Share it with me in the comments below and, if you’re brave, share a photo of your pose! 

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