Having a strong core helps you perform better in sports, as well as everyday activities. The abdominal or core muscles provide support during any type of movement. For this reason and more, many people gravitate toward yoga. Not only does practicing yoga help you develop general strength and flexibility, but it also promotes core support, making your posture better and giving you better overall coordination and balance. Start building your core by practicing belly exercises that involve yoga.
Your core is a system of muscles that work together to support you and help you move. If you’re only doing crunches a few times a week to slim down or strengthen belly muscles, you’re probably neglecting important muscles in the core. It’s important to work the entire core, says “Yoga Journal,” 1 which involves more than shooting for the six-pack abs look. As soon as you begin practicing belly exercises that involve yoga, you’ll begin to realize you have an entire muscle system in your core. Most yoga positions involve abdominal work, including standing positions, twisting moves and balancing exercises, and they demand core strength and stability, according to founder of YogaFit studios, Beth Shaw, for “Yoga Journal”. 1 Attend a yoga class or get one-one-one instruction to learn how to perform yoga moves properly.
Yoga standing postures, including Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose, and Virabhadrasana II, or Warrior Pose II, work deep abdominal muscles, the obliques, as well as other abdominal muscles, according to “Yoga Journal.”1 Practicing these stances helps to strengthen and stabilize the core and to support and strengthen the spine. Even mountain pose, which is a posture stance, encourages you to control your core and aligns your posture.
Any of the yoga positions involving bending forward and trying to touch your thighs to your chest, or vice versa, work the belly muscle, the rectus abdominis. This is what makes up the six-pack abs look. Common folding positions include Uttanasana, or Standing Forward Bend, and Paschimottanasana, or Seated Forward Bend3. Just performing the Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward-facing Dog, yoga position works the abdominals. In this position you fold your body forward and create an upside-down “V” shape with your hands planted forward and your feet planted behind you on the floor.
Some yoga positions executed from a prone position on the floor or a mat directly utilize the core for holding and lifting postures, such as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, or Bridge Pose, and Urdhva Dhanurasana, or Upward Bow Pose.4
These support poses also rely on your buttock muscles, which work together with your core to support and stabilize your posture and other muscles in your body. All muscle groups work together and smaller muscle systems support the overall muscular system. Like the importance of core cross-training, total muscle cross-training is key to whole fitness.