Looking to build up your core? Try these poses and you'll definitely feel it the next day!
Most people dislike planks, but they are undoubtedly one of the best and fastest ways to improve and build on core strength. Focus on good form (keeping your body in a straight and strong line) even if you have your knees on the ground. For an added challenge, try spending three breaths with one arm lifted, three breaths with one leg lifted, etc and repeat on all sides.
Side Plank (Vasisthasana)
Another variation on plank, this uses oblique strength to keep the hips lifted in the pose. Start in a plank, and then drop heels off to right side. Shift your right hand to the center of your mat and lift the left arm up high to the sky. If you need to, you can drop the right knee down on the mat. If you’d like more of a challenge in side plank, try lifting up the top leg, so you’re only using one arm and one leg to balance on. Hold for a few breaths and then switch sides.
Boat Pose (Navasana)
Start by sitting down on the mat. Ground your sit bones into the earth and lift up your legs so they are parallel with the floor. Engage the core and lift up through the chest, creating a tall spine. Bring arms out straight in front of you or reach around your thighs for a little more balancing support. Once in the pose, play around with straightening the legs while keeping the spine lengthened. Don’t collapse it! Hold for 5-10 breaths. If you want more of a challenge, you can do boat “sit-ups,” by switching between boat pose and a variation that leaves you closer to the ground.
Lie down on the ground with your arms by your sides. Lift legs up into the air, creating a 90 degree angle. Slowly over a count of 5 lower both legs to a hover 2 inches off the ground. Hold there for a breath or two, and then slowly lift legs back up towards ceiling. Repeat as many times as possible. For a variation, try just lowering one leg and bringing it back up, and then the other.