There's a common belief that yoga is a series of gentle stretches designed to ease you into the day. And it definitely can be that. But yoga is also a great way to develop a stronger core, and all you need is this 20-minute session to get started.
While the best workouts for abs are an excellent way to train your rectus abdominis—the muscle responsible for visible six-pack abs—your core is an essential area of mid-body muscle comprised of your obliques and lower back in addition to your abs.
Core strength is a foundational part of yoga, as it helps you maintain posture, keep good form in each pose, and flow seamlessly between moves. You work your core in most yoga classes, though this short session is designed explicitly to train your abs.
It's led by yoga instructor Adriene Mishler, creator of the incredibly popular YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene. As she explains, "this [session] is about getting connected and really embodying strength in your core muscles."
It's an accessible class, well suited to beginners and more established practitioners. Adriene guides you through the poses, demonstrating as she goes, so you can follow along or close your eyes and listen to the instructions.
Watch Yoga with Adriene's 20-minute yoga for abs
Most ab workouts involve bodyweight moves like crunches, push-ups, and sit-ups, but the focus here is on developing a connection between your body and mind, giving you time to focus on how the pose feels.
It also gives you space to experiment with minor adjustments to your posture and notice how it affects your core. Developing this awareness of your body is why yoga is sometimes referred to as a moving meditation.
You also don't need any equipment to get started; just one of the best yoga mats to give you a comfortable, slip-free surface for your practice. If you're into at-home workouts, you can use these mats for all types of exercise too.
Although this session is designed to target your abs and core, there are other reasons to take up the practice. Many people use yoga for anxiety, as there's evidence that yoga can reduce stress and help clear your mind.
If you are looking for a way to look after your well-being without spending money, these self-care ideas are a great place to start. You don't need equipment, so you can take care of your mind without having to break the bank.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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