I had long looked at yoga and thought, “that doesn’t really seem like exercise”, and then I went to a class and I was sadly mistaken. Being someone who has ran for the past four years I thought myself to be in pretty good shape, and in terms of BMI, resting heart rate and over all weight I am, but at that yoga class I was forced into positions, known as poses, which I had never done before.
Ok, what’s my point about all this yoga talk? Well I want to discuss how important having strong abdominals is and an overall strong core, to your overall health.
We often overlook our core muscles as something to be ignored, yet our core (lower back muscles, oblique’s and abdominals) are what keep us up straight when we’re standing or sitting.
Yoga happens to be one of the best exercises to improve core strength since it requires you to move your body into a post and hold it steady for a duration of time. Our core muscles are usually what holds us in that position. So if you’ve weaker core muscles you’ll like find that holding some poses such as bridge, downward dog and they like will be difficult for much more than a few seconds. However, with consistent practice you’ll soon find that your core strength will improve and you’ll be able to hold poses for longer.
There are other supplemental things you can do to also strengthen your core.
Sit up Straight
Maintain proper posture while sitting and standing is a great way to practice engaging your core muscles frequently.
Use an Ab Belt
Al belts, such as The Flex Belt or Slender tone System Abs will boost the tone and endurance of your abdominals when used consistently. People can feel a little unsure about these devices at first since they use electronic muscle stimulation, but they are FDA cleared for safety. Read this Flex belt review to get a better idea of how it works and what you can expect.
Use a Stability Ball
Stability balls, those large rubber inflatable balls you can sit on, are perfect for forcing your core to engage. If you can sit on one at home or the office for a duration of time you’ll increase your core endurance. Also if you practice some basic crunches and reverse crunches using the ball those will improve strength and muscle tone in the area as well.
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