Six Yoga Moves to Target your Abs

Yoga is such a calming way to ease your mind and build your strength. Whether you’re just starting out or are an avid pro, it is no doubt that yoga can help your strength, flexibility and mental health. What’s even better is that while it can improve those altogether, you can also target certain parts of your body to get the brunt of the work. Today we are focusing our attention on your abs. These yoga moves are designed to strengthen your core and tighten up those muscles.

Plank

 

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A basic plank can do wonders to your abs. In fact, it actually works your entire body from head to toe. Simply hold your body in the pushup position, either on your hands or forearms, making your body a straight line. Avoid arching your back or sticking your butt up, as that can cause you strain and will not give you the workout you are looking for. Hold the position for 30 seconds then gradually increase your time to 1 min, 1 minute 30 seconds, or more.

Boat Pose

 

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Talk about some serious ab work, the boat pose is a killer! Targeting the lower abs, this one will torch your core. Start out by sitting on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you. By placing your hands a little behind your hips, slowly raise your feet up to a 45 degree angle, keeping your back straight. When you feel balanced, take your hands off of the ground and hold them out in front of you. Remember to keep your back and legs straight throughout the duration of your pose to ensure you are getting the most out of this workout. Hold for about 20 seconds, then gradually increase your time.

Triangle Pose

 

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The triangle pose is a simple move that will target your abs while increasing your flexibility. Stand with your feet spread about 4 feet wide and your arms out wide on either side, parallel to the floor. Bending from your right hip, reach your left arm up and over and your right arm down to reach the right foot, creating a windmill motion. Keep your left arm reaching for the sky, aligned with both shoulders and place your right hand on the floor, your right foot or your ankle, depending on your flexibility, and look up at the sky. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds, then switch sides. In each pose you should feel your legs and sides stretching and it will also stimulate your abdominal organs.

Half-Moon Pose

 

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Stability is a full body workout testing your ab and leg strength all-in-one. The half-moon pose certainly tests your stability, giving you an ultimate ab workout. Start out by standing with your feet hips width apart pointed outwards. Then, begin bending your right knee and slide your left foot outwards as you reach your right hand towards your right pinky toe. Slowly straighten your right leg as you lift and straighten your left leg, making it perpendicular to your right, standing leg. Your torso and left leg should create a straight line as you balance on your right foot and your left arm should be reaching towards the sky, making a straight line with your right arm. Keep your body tight so that you remain stable. If needed, you can do this against a wall to help with your stability. Try to hold the pose for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides.

High Lunge

 

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This simple yoga pose is a great way to tighten those abs while increasing your stability. Start in the downward-facing dog position, on your hands and feet with your hips back and up towards the sky. Then, take your right foot and lunge it forward between your hands, ensuring that your knee is directly over your ankle. Slowly raise your chest up, aligning your spine upright and sweep your arms up to the sky, holding them by your ears with your palms facing each other. You can deepen your lunge by stretching your left foot further, but be sure to keep your spine aligned and not to overarch your tailbone or ribs. Hold for about 30 seconds, then go back to your starting position and switch feet.

Warrior III Pose

 

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Another balancing act, Warrior III will challenge your leg and ab strength yet again. Start in a high lunge position with your right leg in front and your arms up, palms facing in. Begin placing your weight into your right leg, with your knee still slightly bent and begin to lift your left foot up as you lower your torso. Your body should soon be parallel with the ground with your right leg straightened and your arms reaching forward. Tighten your abs for stability and hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Laila Ali

"As an undefeated boxing champion turned wellness and fitness advocate, my goal is to help you achieve the mindset it takes to accomplish your personal best in every aspect of your life."

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