You already know that yoga is a natural detoxifier, yoga can help alleviate back pain, and yoga will help you sleep better. But did you also know yoga can land you a strong core and better abs? It’s true. If you’re engaging your abs, you can strengthen your core through pretty much any yoga pose. But certain yoga poses are particularly good at working the abs, and those are the ones we’ve included in the following 6-minute yoga flow for better abs. Whether you’re a yoga newbie or a regular Vinyasa mama, this quick workout is perfect to squeeze in when you want better abs. Before we get to the 6-minute yoga flow, though, we also want to give you some practical lifestyle tips to score a sculpted stomach even when you’re off the mat.
How To Get Better Abs: The Basics
Let’s be honest: if getting a toned stomach were easy, everyone would have one. It’s really not as simple as doing one specific exercise (ahem, crunches) or eating one specific food. So before we get to our 6-minute yoga flow, here are some tips on overall lifestyle changes to make if you want better abs:
Get Your Cardio In
In addition to keeping your heart healthy, cardio burns mega calories and will help you shed any extra fat covering up those abs. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of cardio per week, and you can break that up however you like. Choose to do two hour long workouts and one half hour workout, or perform a half hour workout five days a week. Here are some different forms of cardio that can count towards your weekly 150 minutes:
- Walking/hiking at a brisk pace
- Spin class
- Bodyweight workouts
Aside from heart-pumping cardio to burn fat, you also need to build muscle to rev your metabolism. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you can burn at rest. (Score!) Plus, you obviously need strength training to sculpt your muscles and get a toned appearance. Once you shed weight from your body, if you want to tone the muscles underneath you’ll need to strength train. You can use weights or your own bodyweight, but try to do two strength training workouts per week. Pressed for time? Try the Busy Woman’s Strength Training Workout.
Plain and simple, you can’t work off a bad diet. Eliminating processed foods, added sugars, and calorie-laden beverages like soda should be your first step. Next, replace pre-packaged foods and high-calorie dishes with healthy grains like quinoa, lean protein like salmon or chicken, and plenty of vegetables. Add in fruit, healthy fats like avocado, and you’ll be on the path to a cleaner diet and slimmer waist. Want a comprehensive guide on what clean eating really means? Click below.
Use The 6-Minute Yoga Flow
Now that you know to get your heart pumping with cardio, strength train weekly, and eat clean, we can get to the final step: our 6-Minute Yoga Flow For Better Abs. Dust off your yoga mat, get some water ready, and get ready to banish belly fat and reveal tight, strong abs patiently waiting underneath. Use this yoga flow 2-3 times per week.
6-Minute Yoga Flow For Better Abs
Here’s the 6-minute ab workout you’ve been waiting for! Use a yoga mat or soft surface to perform each of these moves, holding each of the poses for 30 seconds each. The entire flow will take three minutes; go through it twice for a 6-minute ab routine that will having you feeling the burn the next day!
2) Keep hands directly under shoulders and your eyes at the front of your mat, keeping your neck aligned.
3) Hold your abs and legs tight and make sure your back stays long. Avoid sagging in the low back.
4) If you struggle to hold the position, lower knees to mat while keeping everything else the same.
Hold for 30 seconds.
Related: 6 Plank Variations For Awesome Abs
1) From a seated position, draw your naval to the spine and brace the abdominals. With your hands on the floor behind you, bring your legs up off the floor with your knees bent in front of your chest.
2) Keeping abdominals tight, slowly lift hands off floor and reach them forward and up while simultaneously lengthening legs upward. Your body will look like a “V” shape. Lengthen spine as you hold. (If your hamstrings are too tight, bend knees slightly.)
3) Keep abdominals tight and breathe.
Hold for 30 seconds.
2) Continue reaching your arms forward and your left leg back until your body is parallel to the floor and your eyes are gazing at the front of your mat. Keep those abs tight! Try not to let your back sag.
3) Relax your neck and shoulders and breathe gently in and out.
Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs for another 30 seconds.
2) Squeeze abdominals tightly and open the right arm straight into the air, turning your body to the side so the right foot rests on the left foot.
3) Lift your body through your waistline and hold abs tight as you breathe.
Hold 30 seconds and switch sides for another 30 seconds. Then go back to the beginning and start your second round.
Download the moves in this workout and pin them up someplace you’ll see everyday. If you follow the lifestyle tips suggested earlier in this article and perform this 6-minute yoga flow 2-3 times per week, you’ll start to notice a stronger core, tighter tummy, and slimmer waist.