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If you’re not crazy about doing ab work, yoga might be one of the sneakiest ways to work your core without even realizing it.
“Take standing mountain pose — we work the feet, your leg engagement and your core engagement,” DailyBurn’s Yoga Made Simple instructor Briohny Smyth says. The trick is making sure your core is activated (think: pulled in, and tight) throughout your entire practice. “You have to engage the core to feel the work in the core,” Smyth notes.
To get started, try these three moves from DailyBurn’s new Yoga Made Simple program. You can do each movement individually for a quick ab challenge, or turn to the Yoga Made Simple program for a full 30-minute flow.
3 Yoga-Inspired Ab Moves to Challenge Your Core
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1. Down Dog to Plank
How to: Start in down dog, then move your left foot a little closer to your right and inhale as you reach your right leg up and back (a). Flex your right foot, square your hips and bend your knee if necessary (b). Draw your ribs in to engage your core, take a deep inhalation, and as you exhale, shift into plank position while bringing your right knee in to your chest (c). Look forward, keeping your butt low and your knee lifted off the ground (d). Inhale as you return to down dog, and stretch your leg up and back again. Repeat twice more, and then switch to the opposite side.
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2. Ab Slider
How to: Put on a pair of socks or grab a towel, and set your mat off to the side. Start in tabletop position, on your hands and knees (a). Spread your fingers wide and make sure your hands are shoulders-distance apart. Bring your knees, thighs and feet together. If you’re using a towel, place it under the balls of your feet (b). Tuck your toes, pull your ribs in to engage your abs, and take in a deep breath. As you exhale, lift your knees an inch off the ground, keeping your thighs together (c). Bracing your arms and pulling from your abdominals, slide your knees in towards your chest (d). Hold for a moment, and then slide your knees back under your hips, keeping them off the ground. Your pelvis should be in the same position throughout. Repeat four more times.
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3. Core Flow
How to: Lie flat on the mat, feet planted hip-width apart, ankles below knees (a). Reach your arms behind your head as you inhale (b). Exhale and lift your shoulder blades up off the mat, raising your arms overhead and down until they are fully extended alongside your hips (c). Lift your feet off the mat, straightening your legs until they are at a 45-degree angle to the floor (c). Exhale and slowly lower your heels down almost to the mat, keeping legs straight (d). Inhale to pull your heels back in towards your butt, then plant them back on the mat (e). Exhale, lift your chest higher, inhale, lower back down and reach your arms up and behind your head. Repeat three more times.
Ready to unleash your inner yogi? Head to DailyBurn.com to try Yoga Made Simple free for 30 days.
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