Stop Crunching, More Yoga!
The crunch seems like the staple for all ab exercises aside from the sit up. Crunches are effective, but they only hit one area of your abs. Crunches do not offer a complete ab workout and they are pretty boring to do. Instead of doing crunches, why not do a fun yoga routine instead! Yoga is a great way to work those abs. Not only can yoga hit all areas of your abs, it can also improve your mind and and flexibility!
The following yoga poses are designed to target the various areas of your abs
Downward Facing Dog
Come onto the hands and knees with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into the classic upside-down-V shape called
Downward Facing Dog. Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button.
Breathe deeply for five breaths.
Arching Three-Legged Dog
From Down Dog, and step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
Keeping the left heel on the mat, raise your right leg in the air coming into Three-Legged Dog, and then bend the knee. Actively squeeze your right heel in toward your hip, lifting the knee high.
Lift your head up, and turn to look over your left shoulder, arching the spine. Think about drawing your head and foot toward each other (if your spine is extremely flexible, your foot and head will touch).
Hold here for five breaths, keeping the belly still and breathing into the chest.
Knee Up Plank
From Arching Three-Legged Dog, inhale to draw the right knee into the chest bringing the shoulders above the wrists.
Hold here for five strong breaths.
From Knee Up Plank plant your right foot between your hands. Turn your left heel in slightly, press into your feet, and lift your torso up.
Keeping the front thigh parallel with the floor, raise your arms in the air and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips, and gaze up toward your hands.
Stay here for five breaths.
One-Legged, Four-Limbed Staff
From Warrior 3, lower the hands to the floor in plank position.
Keep the left leg lifted and hop or step the right foot back, bending the elbows into Four-Limbed Staff.
Hold here for five breaths.
Beginner’s Sage (Side Plank)
From One-Legged, Four-Limbed Staff, straighten the arms and roll the torso to the right, coming to balance on the right hand and the outside edge of the flexed right foot.
Stack the left foot on top of the right and reach your left arm straight above you.
Stay here in Side Plank for five deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady.
From Side Plank, plant the sole of the right foot on the mat and inhale to raise the left leg into the air.
Gaze at your lifted hand, and hold Balancing Star for five breaths. Keeping your core engaged will help you stay balanced.
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To Your Health And Wellness!