Yoga for Core Strength Part 1

by Katie Bock

As I stated in Yoga is the Best way to Build your Core.  Yoga has truly changed my body.  It is a practice that allows me to work out my entire body while strengthening my core.  And often times you don’t realize how much you are using your core, which is super cool because personally I don’t like the feeling of doing tons or crunches!

Yoga for Core Strength Part 1 is about warming up the body, lengthen and stretching out those muscle so they are ready to be strengthened.  Part 2 will dive deeper into core strengthening.  For True Core Strength you want to be sure to work all around your body not simply the front or the back.  Our body works together in each moment so you want to strengthen together too!  I have a video below combining Part 1 and Part 2 as well as each poses purpose.

Poses for Part 1

Downward Dog– This pose works much of your arms, legs and pelvis.  It also plays a major role in your core.  The abdominals contract to draw internal organs inward, thus building those core muscles.  The erectors in your back are working to create a slight arch and the quadratus lumborum with the psoas arch the lumber spine.  Downward Dog is key to beginning your practice and coming into your breath, which allows you to flow through a yoga practice. 

Forward Fold– While this pose creates stretching in your legs and pelvis it also works with your trunk/core.  It gives the muscle of the back the changes to lengthen and the Rectus abdominis contracts to bend the truck forward.

Half Way Lift– This lengthens out your spine while your anterior or front core muscle contract to hold you in place. 

Mountain Pose– Here you lengthen your entire body, giving it a brief moment to open for the movements to come.

Chair Pose– This pose uses almost every muscle in the body.  Strengthening and holding you in place.  Your core muscles are squeezing together to keep your ribs from bulging out.  As well as protect your spine.  This pose truly strengthens every part of your body.  And you can feel it, remember you have the power to be in chair pose for longer than you think, stay there a minute longer then you want… 

Warrior II– Here you will be strengthen leg and pelvic muscles big time.  Your core also plays a major role in keeping you erect or with a straight back and directing over your hips, not leaning forward or backward.  The rectus abdominis also contract to protect to spine. 

Reverse Warrior– Allows your side body to open a bit and lengthen.  Creating balance between poses.

Side Angle– Here the obliques and transverse muscles (Front side core muscles) pull the trunk towards the leg, working hard to maintain that pose.   The lower back muscles bend the trunk to the side.  Front and back working together. 

Extended Warrior– Again this is lengthening that side body and requires you to squeeze in your core to maintain the pose.  You get some major core strengthening here. 

High Plank– We have all heard about Planks and have seen the plank challenges…Planks are for sure a full body Strengthener.  You really have to use your core muscles here, squeeze them together to hold your body up.  While this is a major arm workout, you use much of your core. 

Side Plank or Sage Pose– This is building on those core muscles.  The Erectors are stabilizing your spine and the rectus abdominis works hard to maintain balance.  The arm forward gives you length and an added challenge. 

Four limbed Staff Pose/Low Plank– Once again truly a full body collaboration.  Each muscle works hard in this pose.  You have you elbows at a 90 degree angle tucked close to your sides.  Your serratus anterior on the sides of the rib cage is working to keep the shoulder blades/scapulae from winging outward.  Erectors and quadratus lumborum working to lift the back.  The muscles of the chest and abdomen working to hold the core in place. 

Upward Dog– Here you get a nice lengthening of the front core muscles.  The erectors along the spine arch the back and the glutei work with your psoas and abdominals to stabilize the pelvis. 

Yoga for Core Strength Video! Get that Core Strong! 


Katie Bell

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