The height of bikini season may be behind us, but great abs are a good look for any season! We recently got some advice from YogaWorks instructor Sadie Nardini to do just that! Read on as Sadie guides you through three quick yoga poses that will flatten your abs and keep your summer beach body looking fly for the entire year.
Sculpt Those Abs with Yoga
Yoga targets not only your superficial abdominals, but the deeper core muscles that are often neglected in traditional abdominal exercises. These unique poses will reach all six abdominal muscles, working to effectively transform and firm the midsection. Hold for five breaths, then return to Dog Pose and switch sides.
1. Half Crow Plank. From Downward Dog, lift your right leg into the air. Bend the knee, and sweep it forward to your outer, upper-right arm. Squeeze and hold as you round your back, firing the inner thighs, hip flexors and front abdominals.
- Bonus: This is an excellent arm and shoulder sculpting pose, too!
- Beginners: Place the ball of your right foot on the floor, and/or the back knee down, but still engage the leg in and the belly up.
2. Flying Buttress. From Downward Dog, lift your right leg up behind you. Exhale, bend the knee and bring it into your chest as you round your back sky-high. From your core, spin onto your outer left foot, and step your right foot halfway up the mat in front of you. Lift your right arm to the sky and keep the hips lifting for a super side-waist sculpting pose. Hold for five breaths, then return to Downward Dog and repeat on the other side. After your last Flying Buttress, come into Dog Pose.
- Bonus: Play with lifting the bent leg’s foot off the floor, and then ground that one, and try to lift the straight leg for an extra-credit inner-thigh workout!
- Beginners: Keep both hands down or place your left knee down on the floor for added support, but maintain the lift of your hips and waist!
3. Diving Warrior. From Downward Dog, lift your right leg while you exhale and draw the knee into the chest, rounding the back and holding the hips high. Using your core strength, step the right foot to the right thumb. Ground your back foot down, toes facing slightly forward. Exhale, and use your belly to pull yourself upright with your palms together at your chest. Inhale, curl inside your front knee and lengthen your chest. Exhale, pull up over your legs, twisting towards your back leg as your arms straighten and reach back into your side bend. Repeat this wave-like motion five to 10 times for a full abdominal workout in one move. After your Diving Warrior, return to Downward Dog, then repeat on your left side.
- Bonus: This pose transforms your legs, thighs and glutes along with your abs.
- Beginners: Do this move with your back heel up and knee on the floor, and/or only wave as low or high as you need to keep your back comfortable.
A big thanks to Sadie for sharing her ab-tastic moves with us. And if you want to take a live class with Sadie, she currently teaches at YogaWorks SoHo. Check it out! —Jenn