Following on from our yoga and core strength article, we’ve gathered a selection of the best yoga poses to strengthen your core.

Remember, yoga is less concerned with the appearance of ripped abs, than with building a stable, coordinated centre of movement. As you perform the poses, try to maintain an awareness of both your inner and physical core, breathing deeply and calmly with respect for your body.

The benefits? Proper alignment, greater energy and yes – also a toned torso!

  • Get yourself into plank position with your whole forearms and palms on the ground. You want your body to be one straight line between your head and your heels.
  • Engage your abs by drawing your belly button toward your spine. Pull your shoulders up away from your ears and look down between your hands.
  • Hold for five breaths. Then come back up and press back into a Downward Facing Dog.

If you found this plank pose challenging, stick with it before moving on to….


  • With your body still in one straight line, inhale and place one hand on the mat underneath your shoulder, and then the other.
  • Exhale, and lower your forearms back to the floor one by one. Repeat for 30 – 60 seconds, then rest in Child’s Pose.


  • Sit with knees bent, feet on floor, and hands behind you pointing towards feet.
  • Balancing on the ‘tripod’ of your sitting bones and tailbone, lean back slightly and lift your feet off the floor, bringing the shins parallel to the floor.
  • Continue lifting through the spine, keeping chest open and then extend your arms parallel with the floor, alongside the legs,
  • If possible, straighten the legs so your toes are at eye level. If not, keep knees bent.
  • Stay in this pose for 2-5 breaths, gradually increasing to 10.
  • Exhale and release, sitting upright on an inhalation.


  • Get onto all fours. Draw your hips back as you straighten your legs into Downward Facing Dog. Tuck your belly in towards your spine.
  • Inhale, and then raise your right leg until it is parallel to the floor. Lift your leg higher if you can, keeping hips squared towards the floor.
  • Hold for five breaths.  Repeat on the other side.



  • Stand with your feet wide apart. Turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right and left foot 45 degrees to the right.
  • Raise your arms parallel to the floor. Exhale and twist your torso to the right, arching your upper back slightly.
  • Reach straight up with your arms, pressing palms together. Press down into the heels and either keep your head looking straight ahead, or look up at your thumbs.
  • Hold for 30 – 60 seconds. Inhale and return to starting position. Repeat on the left.


The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Simon J.
26 February 2017

Simon J.

I have to say that the air of incense and spirituality has always rather put me off yoga, I deal in facts. Perhaps I do need to give it a try again, if I can find a class that isn't too heavy on the meditation.

Vince A.
26 February 2017

Vince A.

I've done yoga for years and there's been a huge growth in the number of guys seeing its benefits. These moves are definitely a good starting point for many. Thanks.

Claire H.
25 February 2017

Claire H.

I like the high plank pose, which feels like a real challenge after the standard plank, and I can really feel it working my stomach area as well as my arms.

Sean S.
22 February 2017

Sean S.

I only ever do the plank for my core, and that seems to do the trick, but interesting to see some variations, especially as I am getting interested in yoga.

Helen P.
21 February 2017

Helen P.

I can actually do the boat pose, after months of practice. It really is a great move for your core, and legs, and also boosts concentration and balance.

Paula C.
16 February 2017

Paula C.

I really like the dolphin plank pose. It feels like it really does strengthen me, and I find it strangely calming.

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