Let’s face it: a lot of us are not giving our tummies the love they deserve.
Hey, I get it – I’ll take a bag of chips and a Netflix binge on the couch over a real workout most days I’m given the choice. Especially if that workout includes an ab crunch. Bleh. Also, ow.
Surprisingly, though, our abs aren’t so picky about how we get them in shape; there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all workout when it comes to a flat belly. Some people can get ‘em just by changing their diet while some are able to tone their midsection through cardio alone. But since our abs make up our core (aka what you should be activating throughout any workout for added stability), it’s really not that hard to incorporate ab work into the workouts we do enjoy liiike yoga!
Yoga can help you get that flat tummy in more ways than one. There are the poses, which we’ll get to in a minute, but there are also the “side effects!” Yoga has been shown to relieve stress, which, in turn, has been shown to help reduce belly fat. The philosophy of yoga also encourages us to take care of ourselves even when we’re off the mat: that means eating what’s good for us and refraining from over-indulging, two important factors if you want to flatten and tone that tum.
So just what are the best yoga poses to get you to that coveted six pack?
Best Yoga Poses for a Flat Tummy
Bridge Pose – bridge pose doesn’t do too much if your hips aren’t staying raised, which is where your abs come in!
Camel Pose – in this pose, your abs work overtime to keep your thighs and back (which are working extra hard here) stabilized.
Downward Dog – in down dog, your abs should be doing the bulk of the work in keeping your hips lifted; for an extra ab boost, transition from down dog to plank pose as you’re able.
Extended Boat Pose – maybe the closest you’ll get to a crunch with these poses. Take it from a yoga teacher I once had: smile your way through this one, it’ll be over soon enough!
Reverse Table – while it may seem like your arms and legs should be the main focus here, your core is what should be doing most of the work. And you can get even more of an ab workout here by keeping control of that core and lowering your bum to the floor and pushing back up for a few reps!
Rock ‘n Roll Lotus – here, your abs are the brakes, which strengthens them as they help to stop your body.
Scale Pose – don’t be surprised if you don’t get off the ground at first with this one: it looks simple but is a lot on your core and arms. So if you can’t pick yourself up (which is okay!), just press down with your arms and shoulders and lift as much as you can until you’re stronger!
Stacked Side Plank – again, you’ll find the key to balance poses is really your core! If you’ve got your core active and engaged, your arm and leg won’t have to work so hard in this pose.
Tree Pose – with one leg out of commission, your abs will pick up the slack to help keep your other leg grounded.
Warrior III – another balance pose to get those abs working on keeping you stabilized!
Did we miss any yoga poses that target your abs? Be sure to tell us your faves in the comments!
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.