Postures To Strengthen Your Abdominals
Postures To Strengthen Your Abdominals
Abdominal work is critical for supporting your torso and strengthening your lower back. Learn three yoga postures to work on improving key stomach muscles.
Step 1: You will need
- comfortable clothing
- yoga mat
- bare feet
Step 2: Supine abdominal twists
Begin lying on your back. Extend your spine and legs straight along the floor. Lift your legs off the floor and bend your knees up to a right angle. Press your knees and ankles together. Extend your arms wide out to the side with your palms facing upwards and the back of your hands pressing into the floor. Inhale deeply and when you exhale begin slowly and with control in your abdominals and waist area, to drop your legs and hips towards the right side as close as you can to your right shoulder. Make sure you keep your arms open wide and maintain your shoulder blades, arms and hands pressed into the floor. The idea is to use your abdominals and not your arms to come in and out of the pose. Gradually turn your belly, rib cage neck then head to the opposite side. Stay here for 3 breaths and on your next inhale release your knees down a little bit away from your right armpit and lift up using the muscles of your abdomen. Pause in the starting position and repeat on the other side. Keep repeating this exercise for 2 minutes if you can. This posture is great for bringing awareness to your legs, stomach and torso. Release from the posture.
Step 3: Leg lifts
Stay in supine position this time with your legs extended and feet together. Bend your knees and bring your feet close to your buttocks. Lengthen the flesh of your buttocks towards your heels and draw your shoulders back and towards the floor so that your entire spine feels long. Stretch your arms over head on the floor in line with your shoulders. If you find this exercise difficult then place your arms along side your body, palms pressed into the floor. Make sure they are straight and flat against the floor with your palms facing upwards. Now one at a time stretch each leg out keeping your lower back long with both legs straight. Stretch your legs and arms away from each other lengthening in your trunk. Now flex your knees and bring your thighs towards your abdomen without lifting your buttocks off the floor. Straighten your legs towards the ceiling until they are vertical. To lengthen the spine, stretch your arms away from you and resist your front thighs away from the abdomen. Hold for 30 seconds without strain. To come out of the pose, bend the knees to the abdomen and place your feet on the floor. Repeat this exercise comfortably 5 times.
Release out of the pose by bending your knees to your chest, feet and legs together, now lift your head shoulders and upper body,
take hold of your hamstrings, inhale and roll up to a seated position. Repeat this exercise again.
Step 4: The boat pose
Begin this posture in the seated staff position with your hands slightly behind your hips. Take the trunk of your body slightly back, and bend your knees towards your chest. Straighten and raise your legs up off the ground up to around 60º and lower the trunk back slightly, as far as is comfortable for you. Extend your arms out towards your feet. You can begin first by bending the knees and if you feel strong in your abdomen and lower back straighten and firm your legs. Extend your arms forward with your palms facing each other and your arms parallel to the floor. Your body balances on your two buttocks. Lengthen your trunk towards your head, open and lift your chest towards your legs and make sure you keep your elbows and knees locked if you can. Gaze and breathe calmly towards your feet and stay there for 20-30 seconds.
Keep your knees slightly bent if you feel strain in your lower back and are unable to straighten your legs. Come down and out of the pose. Repeat the boat pose 2 more times if you can.
You should breathe through your nose gently and regularly and if you feel any discomfort at all then you should come out of the pose you are in.