Is Yoga a Core Workout?

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Let's talk about abs for a minute shall we? The short answer is, YES! Yoga is an excellent way to strengthen your core.


Having a strong core is something that seems to be sought after by many of us and for good reason! Society seems to reward "washboard abs" and I don't want to approach this topic from a vanity standpoint when there's so many other great reasons for strengthening your core.


Sure, it's nice to look and feel good about your body, but focusing on the actual benefits you get from doing core work instead of the vanity aspect will keep you motivated to keep going. Focusing on vanity can often leave you feeling discouraged if you're not seeing quick results or falling into the trap of comparing yourself to others.


The core is what holds us together. Everything we do, we do it from our core. If you pay attention to your everyday movements such as walking, bending over, sitting, etc., you'll notice that when you do those things with your core engaged and in mind, your body moves and responds more efficiently. When you strengthen your core regularly, it helps to make your everyday movements happen effectively without the risk of getting injured. Having a strong core also helps you keep good posture throughout the day.


I love to focus on building and maintaining core strength throughout the week with regular, super fun core exercises that challenge my core strength. Sometimes these core workouts are within my yoga practice and sometimes they happen during my strength workouts. Either way, I do A LOT of core work every week, so I'm excited to share the many ways you can flow through a yoga sequence with your core in mind.


Core strength isn't something I've always had. I've worked my ass off to get to where I am today and I don't want to risk losing my core strength ever again. That's why I practice PLANK POSE every single day. It's not boring at all because there are SO MANY different movements you can do in a plank that will challenge your core strength.


Get yourself familiarized with HIGH PLANK and then practice with me to the PLANK FLOW SEQUENCE either Live or on demand in the FREE VIDEO LIBRARY.


BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom

 

ASANA LAB: HIGH PLANK


Benefits:

  • Warms and energizes your body while increasing circulation and endurance.

  • Activates the entire body, especially the core.

  • Prepares you for more challenging arm balancing postures.

Contraindications:

  • Pregnancy - check with your doctor

  • Wrist injury

  • Shoulder injury

Getting Into the Pose:

  1. Plant your hands on the mat shoulder width apart and press into the pads of your fingers to take pressure off your wrists. Gaze slightly forward so you have a healthy curve in your neck.

  2. Keep your shoulders back and your chest open. Avoid rounding your shoulders together in front of you.

  3. Engage your pelvic floor muscles and extend one leg back at a time and place your feet hip-width distance apart.

  4. Keep your spine long and your pelvis neutral as you engage the lower abdominal muscles to scoop your tailbone slightly. Engage your inner thighs by squeezing an imaginary block in between your inner thighs.

Alternatives & Options:

  • You can lower your knees down to the floor, still keeping your core engaged and shoulders over wrists until you gain the strength to keep your knees lifted.

  • You can squeeze a block in between your thighs to help you to engage.

  • Switch this pose out for cat/cow if the pressure on the wrists is too much.

  • Knee to Elbow

  • Forearm Plank

  • One-Legged Plank

Coming Out of the Pose:

  • Release onto your knees to the floor, move into Low Plank or Downward Facing Dog.

Muscles Affected:

  • Strengthens arms, legs, wrists, chest, spine, and core muscles

Recommended Hold Times:

  • 1-10 breaths

Other Names for this Pose:

  • Phalakasana

  • High Push-up Position

 

PLANK FLOW SEQUENCE




Cat/Cow

Bear Plank

Downward Dog


Plank - Downward Dog x5

Plank - Downward Dog opposite hand to ankle x6

Plank Walk-Outs - Lizard Pose x5

Child's Pose


Downward Dog - Plank

Forearm Plank - Hip dips x6

Forearm Side Plank - Hand to Toe Taps x6

Forearm Plank - Plank


3 Legged Dog

Knee to Elbow - Knee to Wrist x5

Half Pigeon

Downward Dog


Wrist Stretch

Reverse Plank

Savasana

 

Check out my FREE VIDEO LIBRARY for more awesome core strengthening yoga classes!


BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom

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