7 Best Yoga Poses to Strengthen your Core

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Yoga is one of the most accessible ways to stay healthy and fit, as seen in the meteoric rise of this ancient practice in Western society. Of the countless benefits of practicing yoga routinely, one of them is a stronger core.

A stronger core helps you prevent lower back pain, improves your posture and stamina, plus benefits your breathing and heart.

Here are seven yoga poses that specifically target your abdominal and core area to build up and strengthen your core. I’ve listed the benefits of each pose as well!

7 Yoga poses to strengthen your core

7 yoga poses to strengthen your core #yoga #corestrength #Fitness

1. Chair Pose

The Chair pose or Utkatasana is a fantastic yoga pose to practice your stability, engage your core, and spreading through the entire foot. It can be performed by all experience levels.

Chair Pose. 7 best yoga poses to strengthen your core

Benefits of Chair pose

  • Strengthens hip flexors, ankles, calves, and back
  • Stretches chest and shoulders
  • Reduces symptoms of flat feet.
  • Stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs.

How to perform the Chair pose:

  1. Begin by standing with your hands at your side and feet hip width apart.
  2. Raise your arms overhead and clasp your hands together above the crown of your
    head.
  3. Keep your thumb and index fingers exposed, with the latter pointed upwards.
  4. Slowly bend your knees and sit backwards, as if you were lowering down into a chair.
  5. Make sure your core is activated as you hold this position for up to thirty seconds.
  6. Gently release and set back into the starting position.

2. Triangle Pose

The Triangle pose or trikonasana is a pose that is often done incorrectly, but when done properly has fantastic benefits for the core and the hips. More specifically, the Triangle Pose isometrically works the internal and external obliques to hold you upright as you bend.

Triangle Pose. 7 best yoga poses to strengthen your core

Benefits of Triangle pose

  • Stretches legs, muscles around the knee, ankle joints, hips, groin muscles, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine
  • Strengthens legs, knees, ankles, abdominals, obliques and back
  • Stimulates function of abdominal organs
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves digestion and constipation
  • Relieves back pain and symptoms of menopause
  • Therapeutic for anxiety, infertility, neck pain and sciatica

To perform the Triangle pose:

  1. Begin with your feet hip width apart and your hands by your sides.
  2. Slowly separate your feet until they are much wider than hip width, with your front foot
    facing forwards and your back foot straight.
  3. Hold your arms out long with your fingers pointed towards opposite walls.
  4. Tip from the hips and gently bend towards your front-facing foot.
  5. Dip as low as possible without compromising the position of your back foot and hold
    the pose for up to thirty seconds.
  6. Gently rise and step back into the starting position, then repeat on the other side

3. Warrior I Pose

The Warrior I pose or Virabhadrasana 1 is one of the most widely known yoga poses, and for good reason! Like the Triangle pose, the Warrior I pose isometrically works the core, upper thighs (quadriceps), and lower thighs (hamstrings) as you hold the pose.

Warrior I pose. 7 best yoga poses to strengthen your core

Benefits of the Warrior 1 pose

  • Tones the internal organs.
  • Develops flexibility in the hips and shoulders
  • Enhances the stability of these joints.
  • Helpful for those suffering from osteoporosis.

To perform the Warrior I pose:

  1. Begin with your feet hip width apart and your arms at your sides.
  2. Step one foot far back with your toes angled outwards and your entire foot flat on the
    floor.
  3. Raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor, with your fingers pointed towards
    opposite walls.
  4. Keep your back leg straight as you bend into the front knee. The knee should form a
    ninety-degree angle at the most, but any degree is workable!
  5. Gently raise your arms up overhead so that they run parallel to each other, fingers pointed at the ceiling.
  6. Hold this position for up to thirty seconds, then return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

4. Dancer Pose

The Dancer pose or Natarajasana challenges both your core stability and your balance. The move can be modified and made easier by grabbing ahold of a chair, though, and slowly advanced the more you practice!

Dancer Pose. 7 best yoga poses to strengthen your core

Benefits of dancer pose

  • Is a powerful stretch for the pectoralis muscle in the chest, the psoas and the quadriceps.
  • Strengthens and stretches ankles, legs, thighs, chest, abdomen, thorax, and hips.
  • Improves balance and strengthens the nervous system.
  • Promotes healthier breathing patterns.
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Develops greater flexibility in your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings.
  • improves balance.
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves digestive system.
  • Increases concentration

To perform the Dancer pose:

  1. Begin with your feet hip width apart and your arms by your sides.
  2. Gently bring one foot up and catch it in the hand of the same side.
  3. Slowly raise the opposite hand up towards the ceiling, fingers spread wide.
  4. Tip from the hips and lean forward, leading with your free hand. If needed, use your
    free hand to hold onto the back of a chair.
  5. Press your caught foot into your hand and raise your leg as high as possible without
    falling.
  6. Hold this position for up to twenty seconds, then release and return back to the
    starting position.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

5. Tree Pose

Tree pose or Vriksasana is known for being one of the hardest poses in yoga to maintain, and for good reason! The Tree pose challenges your single-leg balance, core strength, and leg strength, all while asking you to look as graceful as an oak tree. However, the height of your leg can always be modified to match your skill level.

Tree pose. 7 best yoga poses to strengthen your core

Benefits of Tree Pose:

  • Stretches the thighs, groins, torso, and shoulders
  • Strengthens ankles and calves
  • Tones the abdominal muscles
  • Helps to remedy flat feet
  • Is therapeutic for sciaticaTo perform the Tree pose:
  1. Begin with your feet hip width apart and your hands by your sides.
  2. Bring your hands together over your heart center and press your palms together.
  3. Gently place your weight on one foot.
  4. Slowly bring your other foot up and rest the sole of your foot on the opposing thigh.
  5. If need be, rest your foot anywhere lower upon your leg.
  6. Slowly raise your hands upwards towards the sky while keeping your palms together.
  7. Hold this position for up to twenty seconds, then gently release all limbs back to the
    starting position.
  8. Repeat with the other leg.

6. Warrior II Pose

Like the Warrior I pose, the Warrior II pose or Virabhadrasana II challenges the leg and the core through a combination of balance and isometric holds. However, the Warrior II takes this challenge one step further by recruiting the inner and outer obliques and the upper arms.

Warrior II pose. 7 best yoga poses to strengthen your core

Benefits of Warrior II pose

  • Strengthens the lower body and spine
  • Realigns the shoulders and hips
  • Builds strength and determination
  • Helps osteoporosis

To perform the Warrior II pose:

  1. Begin with your feet hip width apart and your hands at your sides.
  2. Place one foot far behind you, with your toes pointed outwards.
  3. Open your arms outwards in either direction, fingers stretched towards opposite walls.
  4. Gently lean into the front leg, bending the knee at ninety degrees.
  5. For a more advanced version, bend from the hips and lower one hand down to the
    ground, with your arm directly on the inside of your leg, while the other arm points
    directly towards the ceiling.
  6. Hold this position for thirty seconds, then release back to the original Warrior II pose.
  7. Repeat on the opposite side

7. Warrior III

Warrior III or Virabhadrasana III is more similar to the Dancer pose than the other two Warriors poses, and it challenges the body in a similar way. The Warrior III pose demands single-leg balance, as well as an ability to center the body. However, if you are unstable you can always perform the movement with your hands either on the floor or against the wall.

Warrior III pose. 7 best yoga poses to strengthen your core

Benefits of Warrior III pose

  • Strengthens shoulders, hamstrings, calves, ankles, and back
  • Tones and strengthens the abdominal muscles
  • Improves balance, posture, and full-body coordination
  • Frees blockages in the energy centers along the spine
  • Improves alignment and stabilization of the hips

To perform the Warrior III pose:

  1. Begin with your feet hip width apart and your hands at your sides.
  2. Bring your hands overhead and clasp your hands together with your index fingers and thumbs exposed.
  3. Gently shift your weight into one foot.
  4. Raise the opposing foot up until it is parallel to the floor, with your toes pointed towards towards the floor.
  5. Press your hands together and hold the tension there. If needed, lower your hands to the floor or to the wall for balance.
  6. Hold this position for fifteen seconds.
  7. Lower the leg back down to the ground and repeat on the other side.

In Conclusion

Core strengthening doesn’t just happen overnight, though by incorporating simple yoga routines such as the above, you will gradually start to feel the difference. If you suffer from existing injuries, be sure to consult a doctor before you dive in, or begin with something more passive such as sitting on a fitness ball or kneeling chair as you work. These types of chairs are also known to engage the core.

Namaste!

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After more than a decade in the corporate corporate work, I retired from my corporate career at 33 to focus on family. A change in priorities, and a passion for writing inspired me to start working from home and I am now living my dream as a writer and editor. I write content for clients, blog for businesses and edit manuscripts for publishers/authors. With six blogs of my own and published contributions across the web (The Huffington Post, PTPA, World of Moms, SheKnows), I write to collect smiles and donate to charities. I share stories about all the things I enjoy in life; parenting, mindful living, conversations, coffee, books, food, music, health, DIY, travel, photography and showing my diabetes who’s boss.

1 Comment

  1. Mrs. SBF

    September 6, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I love this! I love Yoga. Thanks for posting this!

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