Close your eyes and imagine your healthiest body. What do you notice first? Your abs, of course!
Building toned abs requires building core strength. Your core includes all the muscles that help support and move your spine. There are different workouts you can use to increase your core strength. But if you want to tone your abs and burn calories seriously, consider trying hot yoga.
When you're ready to build your healthiest body through hot yoga, take a look at the six yoga poses below to get the most out of your hot yoga session.
The best hot yoga moves are those that challenge multiple muscle groups at the same time. The horse is a move that works your abs and obliques (side of the abs), as well as your legs.
Start by placing your feet in a wide stance - about three feet apart. Point your toes out.
Next, lower your body by bending at the knees with your knees over your toes. You can choose how deep you want to go into each of these yoga postures, but the lower you go in the horse pose, the more core support is needed and the more you'll get from the move.
Once you're into this position, put your hands behind your head and twist your torso leading with the elbow. Extend as far as you can when you twist from left to right. Repeat at a pace that is comfortable for 20 breaths. Inhale in the center and exhale as you twist.
Ready to try out this pose but don't have a hot yoga studio nearby? No problem, check out how to set up hot yoga at home!
The boat pose is a great way to build core strength and stability. You may have seen this move in traditional yoga classes, but when it's done as part of a hot yoga session, it's going to test your stamina!
Start in a seated position with your feet flat on the floor. From here, lift your feet off the ground and flex your toes. The pose should resemble a boat! If you're looking for a more advanced version of this move try extending your legs straight. Hold this pose and breathe.
Because this is a static pose you need significant core support to maintain the right posture. Hold this for 10 deep breaths to start and as you become more experienced you can work your way to 20 breaths.
3. Plank Pose
Hot yoga will challenge you physically and mentally. Even the simplest poses can help you improve your core strength when the room is 90 degrees!
The plank pose is a core strengthening exercise that also promotes shoulder and back stability and toning. Simply place your hands on the ground below your shoulders, balancing on your toes. You want to create a straight line between your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
During the plank pose think about maintaining a straight back and pulling your core in through your belly button. Don't forget to breathe!
For a variation of this pose, you can try a forearm plank. Instead of resting on your palms, rest on your forearms. If you typically have pain in your wrists, the forearm plank might be a better position for you.
4. Cosmic Egg Pose
It's a silly name, but this yoga pose is no joke. You can use this move as a warm-up, cool-down, or for brief relief during a difficult hot yoga session.
Start in a seated position and pull your knees into your chest while keeping your back straight. Think about pulling in the abdominals to engage them as you breathe. The longer you hold this pose, the more challenging it will get.
As you hold the egg pose, pay attention to your breathing and your posture. Let your abdominals do the work instead of your back.
5. Three-Legged Downward Dog
You've heard of downward dog, but what about the three-legged downward dog? It's a good move for core strength and flexibility.
Start in the traditional downward dog pose and lift one leg as high as possible behind you. If this feels comfortable, try to keep the heel of your planted foot on the ground. This will facilitate a better stretch through your hips and pelvis.
Another benefit to this pose is that you don't need a lot of space. You can use a portable infrared sauna and have more than enough room to move.
6. Side Plank
The side plank is part of any good abs workout because it hits the obliques which are sometimes hard to target with traditional exercises. To execute this pose, start in a high plank (described above).
From there, pivot to your right side and release your right arm into the air. Stack your feet and squeeze your thighs together. In this position, you want to make sure your hips are in line with the rest of your body. You should already feel your core engaged.
You can hold the side plank position, or you make it more challenging by bending your top knee and holding your big toe as you extend your leg up. This will challenge your stability and your strength. If you can't reach your toe, you can also use a strap for assistance.
Hold the position for 10-20 breaths and then switch to the other side. Make the transition slow and allow yourself time to breathe in high plank before switching to the other side.
Ready to Tone Your Abs With These Hot Yoga Poses?
Practicing yoga regularly can help you improve strength and flexibility while reducing stress and pain. Try out the yoga poses above and start experiencing the health benefits for yourself.
Remember to consult your doctor or a medical professional before starting a new exercise program or starting hot yoga for the first time.
And if you want to start hot yoga at home, you can buy your very own infrared sauna on our website today!