Tight, toned abs
There are so many ways to describe a svelte waistline but how do you actually get that trim, chiseled middle? More importantly, how can you maximize functionality with aesthetics?
Abdominal exercises abound in all form and fashion. Many are efficient and effective, some are slightly beneficial and others are downright dangerous.
But when it comes to an aging body it all becomes important: the tight, toned abs, the flat belly, and especially a strong core.
In Yoga, strong, connected and responsive abdominal muscles are paramount providing the perfect opportunity to develop all these desirable traits.
By engaging from the pelvic floor through the abdominal cavity and into the muscles of inspiration (in your ribcage) not one inch of your torso will be neglected. You will notice a new level of connectivity in your deep core muscles yielding a greater ability to move with confidence, strength, and fluidity in all your endeavors.
Here are 3 of the Best Yoga Moves for Ageless Abs:
First, follow these 4 steps to proper core engagement then perform the pose:
1. Tilt pelvis so that tailbone lengthens toward knees and low belly draws in.
2. Pull pelvic floor muscles in and up toward navel.
3. Compress belly button to spine and spine to belly button.
4. Close ribcage in around spine on an exhale knitting the core together.
Start seated with knees bent & feet on floor. With core properly engaged (see steps 1-4 above), begin to lean torso back feeling core tighten more deeply. Slowly lift the feet from the floor and straighten legs if able. Remain lifted and lengthened through the chest with shoulders drawn down the back. Hold for 5-10 breaths then slowly release.
Advance this pose: Alternating Boat to ½ Boat
Expert pose: Reclining Boat with Prayer Twist
Start in Downward Facing Dog Pose. With core properly engaged (see steps 1-4 above) shift forward into high plank with shoulders over wrists. At the same time drive the right knee up to the chest. Coil belly and spine up for a deep contraction.
Hold the pose for a full breath then press back to downward facing dog. Alternate legs for 5-10 repetitions.
Advance this pose: Tiger Curl with Oblique & Lateral Knee
Expert pose: Tiger Curl with Hold & Knee Swings
Start on your side with forearm on mat, elbow under shoulder and feet stacked. With core properly engaged (see steps 1-4 above) lift into side plank finding length and alignment from heels to crown of head. Try to keep bottom side of body lifting away from the floor. Hold for 5-10 breaths, contracting core tighter with each exhale. Repeat for the other side.
Advance this pose: Side Plank with Star
Expert pose: Side Plank with Front Pike
Aging is part of life. Yet, it doesn’t have to be shrouded in fear and misery. You can stay fit and active. Apply some simple, consistent practices, like Yoga, and you will enjoy the journey with a healthy perspective and respect for your body. Plus you now have some killer core exercises to keep you not only toned and slim, but functionally fit as well!
Written By Missi Holt