5 Yoga Poses to Seriously Strengthen and Tone Your Core

As a yoga instructor, core workouts are a very essential part of my yoga classes. Core exercises are great for improving back health as well as balance and posture. Building and maintaining a strong core not only feels good, but looks good on you!

Remember to focus on linking your breath with your motion, and on keeping your core engaged throughout your workouts.

“Having a strong core gives our spine optimal support, which allows for a strong and limber spine.”


Here Are 5 Yoga Poses That Will Seriously Strengthen Your Core:

Incorporate these 5 yoga poses for core strength into practice for a healthy back and a super strong and toned core! For further explanation, see the images and descriptions below:

1. Tabletop balance 1 & 2


Start on your hands and knees with a neutral spine. As you extend your right leg out, engage your core and find your balance. Then extend your left arm forward.

Stay in this balance for a full breath and as you exhale, activate your core, press away from the ground, and crunch knee to opposite elbow. Do 5 reps on this side and repeat on the other side.


2. Plank 1 & 2


Start in a high plank, hands planted on the mat shoulder-with apart. As you exhale, keep your spine long and elbows close to the body. Hover one leg off the ground, and lower halfway down to a low push-up position.

As you inhale, rise back up to high plank and repeat on the other side. Keep your core engaged the entire time to protect your lower back.

3. Knee-to-Elbow 1 & 2


Starting in plank position, extend your right leg straight behind you. As you exhale, shift forward and bring your right knee to your right elbow and hold. Inhale to extend your right leg back behind you and as you exhale, shift forward and bring your right knee to the opposite elbow for a twist.

Hold here and press away from your mat, keeping spine long and core activated. Do 5 reps per side.

4. Fingertip Abs 1 & 2


Start lying flat on your back with both legs straight into the air. Lower your left leg down to a hover. As you exhale, lift your torso towards your right leg, reaching your arms past your leg until your fingertips touch behind your hamstrings.

Hold this position for a full breath, exhale as you lower and repeat on the other side. Do this rep at least 5 times (one rep = both sides).

5. Boat Pose 1 & 2


Start sitting with your knees hugged into your chest. Engage your core and maintain a tall spine. Then extend your arms out to the side. You can keep your knees bent, or you can straighten your legs for more of a challenge. As you exhale, start to lower your body down to a hover, keeping your spine long.

As you inhale, use the strength of your core to lift back to the starting position. Hold for a breath, and then lower once more. Repeat for a total of 10 reps.

Each core exercise you’ve just completed helps to strengthen and tone your abdominals. We recommend practicing these yoga poses for core strength at least 3 times per week to see quick and effective results.

Looking for More Core Strengthening? Take This 13-Minute Free Online Class

Watch this video for a 13-minute flow for strong abs!


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Charmie Stryker

A wanderlust at heart, Charmie started her yoga teaching path during her travels through India. Her practice has been nicknamed as “shakti sway”. “Shakti”, meaning divine energy, and movement and “Sway” because of her love for flow, or the fluidity of movements. Currently she is pursuing her bliss of yoga, travel and design blurring the lines between work and play.


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