All those of you who have been exercising for a long time, and are a professional already know about core exercises. Many people think that only aerobic exercises help to lose weight and look lean. However, you should know a fact. When you lose weight through aerobic exercises, it may lead to sagging of the skin. More often, than not, you only tend to lose the water content in the body. If you practice core strengthening, you will see your muscles getting toned eventually. Core exercises are an integral part of a comprehensive fitness program.
You should know about a few benefits of core exercises, before delving into yoga for core strengthening.
Benefits of Core Exercises
1. Core exercises improve your balance as well as stability. You can impact your pelvic muscles, lower hip muscles, and abdomen in a positive manner. No matter, if you are an athlete or want to engage in daily activities, such exercises will help to make your core muscles stable.
2. You can do core strengthening exercises quite easily, and anywhere. It is due to the fact that they do not require any sort of specialized equipment. If you use your back muscles and abdominal muscles in a co-ordinated manner, it can strengthen your core.
3. When you have strong core muscles, you can go about your daily tasks, without fail. On the contrary, weak core muscles can lead to poor posture and back pain.
Apart from your quintessential fitness program, and gym equipment, you can also strengthen your core muscles. Here we are talking about yoga. Yoga poses can help in core strengthening.
Five Yoga Poses That Are Good for Core Strengthening
Shalabha Asana –
You may also hear the name locust pose associated with the yoga pose. This is a staple in most yoga classes. If you suffer from any kind of shoulder disorder, like frozen shoulder, then also you can practice this. The pose helps to strengthen the back muscles and also opens up the chest. It also leads to the strengthening of the entire core. You have to perform this asana, by lying face down on the floor. The arms should be by your torso, on either side, with palms up. With the forehead as support, you should slowly lift both your legs stretched straight to a certain height, as per your comfort. Your glutes and hamstrings should contract, as you lift both legs upward. You also need to lift your pelvis, to lift your stomach from the floor. This are one of the best core strengthening exercises, that you can do today. It also aids in digestion and alleviates back pain.
Nauka Asana –
The boat pose can be as challenging, as you make it. It makes you pull your lower abdominals together, to lift your legs up. If you cannot pull your legs straight in the first place, do not worry. Most of you may not be accustomed to such poses, and your hamstrings may be tight. Just extend your legs as long as you can, and allow your hip flexors to relax and focus on the abs. You can just lie down on your back, and inhale and exhale deeply while lifting your chest and legs off the floor. You ought to keep your arms stretched forward, while pointing your fingers towards the feet. Your buttocks should touch the floor. The body resembles a boat in this pose. This pose helps in the strengthening of the core muscles.
You need to perform the asana, while standing on one foot. It is very difficult to balance the entire body, on one foot. However, you can achieve equilibrium, with practice. The asana is all about balancing. This pose helps you to focus on lengthening your body. You need a lot of core strength, to keep your body in that position. In the process, you need to pull the abdomen towards the spine. You can perform the asana, by standing straight on the ground. Raise both the hands above the head. Inhale slowly while doing so. You need to expand your chest, while doing so. Bring both hands together, and interlock the fingers. You have to bend your body forward, whilst in this pose. And, while doing so, lift one leg up and maintain it parallel to the ground. Hold the pose, and then release and come back to the original form. Repeat on the other side.
This is quite a challenging pose, which can strengthen your core muscles like no other. It is basically an arm balance pose, which needs you to contract your core abdominal muscles. The transverse abdominus muscles work quite hard. You can start the pose from standing position, if it suits you. Slowly bend forward, while sticking your knees into the back of your elbows or biceps. Before, attempting this stance, you need to fold your knees a bit, and try to place the palms on the ground for support. Now, begin to push your weight forward, on your arms. First, try the pose with one leg if you are a beginner. For professionals, you can achieve the final pose in one go, with both your legs. This is one of the best yoga exercises, to strengthen your core muscles.
Chaturanga Dandasana –
You can do this pose, with ease. This may seem to be an upper-body focussed pose. However, it actually strengthens your core muscles as well. It is also quite popular as the four-limbed staff pose. You have to start the asana with Vajrasana. You have to stretch your hands forward, and take up the plank pose. Straighten your legs backwards. And, support the legs on the toes. Exhale and bend your elbows, until the shoulders are at the same height as the elbows. You can hold the pose.
This asana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles. Moreover, you can also maintain core stability. Sportspersons love to practice this exercise.
These are a few of the poses in Yogasana, that can give other new age fitness activities a run for their money. Try these out today, empty stomach and early in the morning, to strengthen your core muscles.