Want to strengthen your core and define your abs? This yoga routine only takes 20 minutes

If HIIT workouts aren't for you, yoga is a great low-impact alternative that helps improve core strength

Yoga class engaging their core
(Image credit: Getty)

Building a strong and defined core is not always about doing countless crunches and sit-ups and is actually much more about balancing a cleaner diet with a good variety of exercise. And no, the exercise doesn't have to be high intensity or high impact to get you results either. Try this Yoga With Adriene routine to strengthen your core using some gentle movement for a short while.

You can practice this yoga for abs workout at home but make sure you have one of the best yoga mats or something padded to lay underneath you. This will provide you with stability and comfort during the exercise.

Many people met Yoga With Adriene via their screens in 2020. While we were all stuck indoors trying to remain positive and find ways to stay fit at home, Adriene was sharing beginner-friendly yoga videos on YouTube, that many of us came to love. If this is your first time hearing of her then this 20 minutes abs session is a great way to get to know yoga as a form of exercise while improving strength in your abs.

This is especially a good option for those who don't enjoy how they feel after much more enduring or extreme forms of exercise. Adriene says that this movement for abs session is quite the opposite. 

"Some practices tone and strengthen your body (your big, mirror muscles) but leave your nervous system a wreck. This session is intended to do the opposite, allowing you to center mentally and emotionally while receiving that full-body flow you crave," she explained.

If this sounds like your kind of exercise then watch the video below to follow along with Adriene.

Try Yoga With Adriene's Yoga for Abs Routine

You will cover a lot in this short core strengthening session and hopefully, pick up a few things that will have a positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Realigning with your breath, moving your body, and regulating your nervous system are all part of this workout and can benefit you in many ways.

We spoke to yoga teacher and personal trainer Sam Robbins about the benefits of yoga on our core muscles and she said almost all yoga Asanas (postures) can help build abdominal strength and stability.

She added that "Pranayama (breath practice) enhances this even further by training the diaphragm in conjunction with the core muscles."

If you've mastered all of the best workouts for abs and tried the yoga for abs session above, Robbins has shared with us a whole core workout using different three types of yoga movement.

Three ways to workout your whole core with yoga

  1. Standing balance postures such as Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III) and Vrikshasana (Tree) which target the obliques and the spine stabilizing transverse abdominis - the deepest of the core muscles. 
  2. Twisting postures train the oblique muscles which run diagonally across the torso.  For example Marichyasana (seated twist)
  3. Folds (where the chest and legs are drawn towards each other) will work the rectus abdominis (6 pack) muscles and can be performed seated, standing or in inverted balances like Sirsasana (Headstand).  Possibly more fun than a sit up, expressed Robbins!

Developing strength in your core can really help out with things like posture, balance and reduce the risk of lower back pain. Here's a roundup on some of the best posture correctors if this is something you are trying to improve.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.