There is a difference between strong abs and ripped ones. By practicing yoga, you can obtain healthy, strong abdominal muscles.
Having a hard, ripped midsection can reduce your flexibility and ability to move, but you can prevent that by aiming to achieve toned abs by practicing yoga rather than trying to get a six pack. Over-exercising the core can cause the lumbar curve to become flat, which causes the structure of the spine to be less strong. In fact, Michael Yessis, Ph.D. says, "We're even beginning to see hunchback conditions because of excessive abdominal crunches." Yessis is a biomechanics and and kinesiology specialist and author of "Kinesiology of Exercise."
When you want toned abs that are healthy and strong, try these top 10 yoga poses (asanas).
#1 Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
When you bring your legs up in the full boat pose, you are tightening the rectus abdominis. Holding this pose helps to stimulate the rectus abdominis isometrically, which tones the core without affecting the ability to be flexible.
#2 Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
The muscles of the lower abdomen are activated when in the seated forward bend.
#3 Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
It is essential to perform poses such as the bridge to keep the abs flexible as well as strong.
#4 Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
The revolved triangle pose works the obliques by twisting the shoulders and torso, while keeping the legs in place.
#5 Plank Pose
The plank pose helps to create a toned, strong core. It also makes the arms, wrists and spine stronger.
#6 Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)
Move from plank to side plank, alternating sides to work the midsection and the obliques.
#7 Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
The half moon pose creates strong abs. In addition to creating strong abs, this asana strengthens the ankles, thighs and buttocks, as well as making the spine more flexible and strong.
#8 Crane Pose (Bakasana)
Get a toned midsection by performing the crane pose, which is one of my favorite yoga asanas. This pose will also make your arms and wrists stronger and flex the upper back.
#9 Garland Pose (Malasana)
The garland pose is an excellent asana to tone the core.
#10 Marichi's Pose (Marichyasana III)
This asana is a great way to stretch the core and spine at the end of your ab workout.
Perform these yoga poses at least two times a week, with a break in-between days to get strong, moveable abs that look toned and healthy.
More from Rebecca Bardelli:
Rebecca completed courses in Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Coding and Billing. She is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). In addition, Rebecca is a former gymnast and is avid about yoga, swimming and other athletic activities.