Take a look at any fitness magazine, the models with an enviable body surely hook the eyes. The fitness industry flaunts toned abdominal muscles and a chiseled body while pitching workouts that promise desirable six-pack abs. Manifest a lean and toned body not just for attractive personality but more for core strength and endurance.
Core conditioning is crucial for improving the posture that also contributes towards a slimmer appearance, assists in breathing, enhances sports performance, and boosts the effectiveness of the exercises, thus minimizing injuries while granting balance and stability. Developing core strength has positive benefits for the health and daily functions, some of which are:
1. Diminishes Back Pain: The abdominal muscles act as a ‘knight in the shining armor’ for the middle and lower back muscles. Abdominal strength builds endurance in the muscles of the back making the individuals less vulnerable to injuries.
2. Develops Functional Strength: The daily acts of bending for tying the shoelaces, picking up objects, sitting and standing, etc., requires core strength and can be a difficult task for the entities with a weak core. There is an increased chance of getting injured during the mundane activities as the back muscles have to work harder than usual. Abdominal Strength provides ease in performing the everyday activities.
3. Enhances Athletic Performance: The core is of great importance to the athletes and sportspersons as it facilitates stabilization and action. The movements of catching, twisting, swimming emanate from a strong core. Middle strength assists in healing and recovery as well.
4. Perfect Posture: Weak abs give way to a poor posture as there is a tendency to slouch because of no musculature to support the alignment. A robust middle fosters a good posture by keeping the spine in shape and arms, legs in aligned.
5. Builds Balance: Balance isn’t just about standing on one leg in a tree pose. Balance comes into play in everyday activities. Toned abs build balance that makes the activities more pleasant and less hazardous.
The fetish for toned abs leads many individuals on the path of rigorous exercises costing them flexibility, freedom of movement, etc. Too much exercise also bring along a list of myriad health issues such as flattening of the lumbar curve, weakened spine structure, hunched back conditions, etc. Everyone approaches toned abs in a different manner but one of the most valuable, trusted, and beneficial way to savor toned abdominal muscles is through the science of Yoga.
Yoga helps the practitioners develop the right balance of abdominal strength, suppleness, and awareness. The practice of yoga postures is highly recommended that employs the various body parts to strengthen and stabilize the abdominal muscles. Yoga postures powerfully work with the deepest layers of the muscles and limbs. It stretches the internal organs, resuscitates the body, and tones the abs without compromising on the flexibility.
We have compiled a list of best 10 yoga poses to tone the abs and to strengthen the core:
1. Boat Pose (Navasana):
Sit straight on a yoga mat with hands a few inches behind the hips. Bend the hips and place the feet on top of the ground. Raise the feet up above the floor such that the thighs are hugging close to the stomach. Slowly straighten the legs and raise them high as much as possible. Balance on the sitting bones and extend the arms parallel to the floor.
2. Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana):
Begin in downward-facing dog pose. Lean forward towards the ground until the arms are perpendicular and the body is parallel to the floor. Spread the shoulder blades and collarbone. Keep the legs strong with toes tucked under. Look straight down at the floor, keeping the neck and throat soft.
3. Bridge Pose (Setu-Bandha Sarvangasana):
Lie flat on the floor with heels close to the posterior and knees in bent position. Press the palms and feet into a yoga mat and lift the hips, lower back, and thighs up from the ground. Shoulders, neck, and feet should rest on the floor. Hold the arms by the side of the body.
4. Fish Pose (Matsyasana):
Perform Padmasana. Inhale, elevate the pelvis off the floor to slide the hands beneath the hips. Compress the forearms and elbows into a mat and lift the upper torso and head away from the ground. Arch the back, raise the chest upward and slowly place the head back to the floor. Ensure there is a minimal weight on the head.
5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana):
From downward-dog, transition into the plank pose. Exhale, lower the torso and legs 3-4 inches above and parallel to the floor. During the pose, keep the tailbone and legs firm and slightly inward. Look forward.
6. Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana):
Come on your fours (wrists below the shoulders and knees under the hips). Extend the hands in a forward direction and curl the toes in. Upon exhalation, pull the hips towards the heels. Do not touch the elbows to the ground. Rest the forehead on the ground on a blanket.
7. Dolphin Plank Pose (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana):
Begin in Dolphin pose, knees bent. Walk the legs behind to make the torso parallel to the floor. Keep the forearms and elbows pressed against the ground. Relax the neck and look straight ahead.
8. Gate Pose (Parighasana):
Kneel on the floor. Straighten the right leg out and place the foot on a block. Rest the left knee directly below the left hip. Inhale, stretch the right arm over the right leg and raise the left arm up towards the ceiling. Slightly bend the torso towards the right side.
9. Half Frog Pose (Ardha Bhekasana):
Lie in a prone position. Raise the upper torso and head up. Bend the right knee and bring the right foot to the right hip. Grab the right foot with your right hand supporting yourself on the left forearm.
10. High Lunge Pose(Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana):
Start in the downward-dog pose. Step the right foot forward between the hands. Raise the torso upwards and lift the arms up alongside the ears. Look up at the thumbs.
Tone the abdomen– the center of gravity, a source of vitality, and a sacred place in the body naturally with yoga.
Author Bio :
Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training in India. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.