Building cut abs is a cherished dream for most people in the gym. With so many ab workouts out there, yoga exercises that build abs are often forgotten about.
In saying that, yoga exercises might be one of the best-kept secrets of building great six-pack abs.
The secret behind the effectiveness of yoga exercises for building abs is the development of neuromuscular connection and being able to keep your abdominal muscles activated for long periods of time.
Yoga is great for steadiness training. Studies have shown the therapeutic effects of yoga, especially when incorporated as a part of core stability training. Many of the basic Yoga asanas are great for improving the mind-muscle connection and can be added alongside your normal ab routine.
Yoga Exercises That Build Abs
The best yoga exercise for building a strong set of abs might be the stomach vacuum exercise, but it is not the only one. Below we will list 4 yoga exercises that can help you to build great abs and a strong core. We recommend that you do these exercises at home as a morning workout. Remember that the goal of doing these yoga exercises is to improve your mind-muscle connection, not the number of repetitions.
During your workout, you should keep your abdominal muscles tense at all times. Over time you will learn to feel and control not just your abs as a whole, but also the individual muscles that make up your abdomen and even certain leg and pelvic muscles.
1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, raise both of your arms above your head. Start to exhale as you slowly squat down. Visualise the movement as if you are sitting down on a chair. Don’t let your knees go past your toes. Breath slowly and maintain this pose for 30-40 seconds, keeping your abs tensed throughout this exercise.
2. Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana)
Start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your right foot forward and bend your knee, then move your left foot back with your toes pointing slightly outwards. With your tailbone pointing to the ground, raise your arms above your head. Make sure that your hips are facing straight. Now concentrate on tightening your abdominal muscles and maintain this pose for 30-40 seconds. Focus on your breathing and keep the tension in your abs.
3. Tiger Pose (Vyaghrasana)
Start by standing on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart. Look forward with your neck in a neutral position. As you inhale, tighten your abdominal muscles and point your right leg up, slightly bending your back. Hold this pose for 10-20 seconds, then tense your abs even harder as you slowly exhale and bring your leg back down, towards your elbow. Bend your back slightly when you do this and repeat for 3-5 sets on each side.
4. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Sit, straighten your legs, both hands are standing on the floor behind your back. Bend the left leg and place it on the outside in the region of the right knee. Tighten the press, then, on the exhale, tighten the press even more and carefully turn the case to the side. Raise your right arm bent at the elbow to your left knee. Hold for 30-40 seconds and switch sides.
How To Get Abs
Training your abs is fundamentally different from training your arms, for example. The primary function of the biceps is the help you to bend your arm in order to lift the load (usually within a few seconds). Your abdominal muscles are designed to consistently bear the load. This is why slow twitch muscle fibres are the dominant type of muscle fibre.
The best way to engage slow twitch muscle fibers is through static and isometric exercise. We have covered strategies on how to get abs in previous articles, please see them below:
How To Lose Belly Fat
The main problem with not being able to see your abs is not the lack of sit-ups that you do, but rather the layer of fat that covers them. Did you know that the primary fuel source for slow twitch fibers is fat? Since your body knows this, a lot of the fat is stored on the abdomen – the less daily activity your body receives, the thicker the layer of fat becomes.
A common problem that people experience is the excess consumption of fast carbohydrates. Since carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for us, all of the excess gets stored as fat ‘for later use’. If you want to shift some of the fat quickly, try a no-carb diet. In reality, it doesn’t matter how many exercises you do to get abs if you don’t have your diet in check. It’s no wonder that the old saying goes something like ‘abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym’.
If you want to learn more about how your body uses and stores fat, as well as how to get rid of it check out our previous article below:
This article first appeared on GYMNASIUMPOST.com on 6th August, 2020.