How Do I Strengthen The Core?

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Hi all!

I'm currently in yoga teacher training and we just had a class on inversions. We worked on NOT kicking up into headstands/headstands and I realize I don't have the strength that I thought I did.


I would like to work on building core/upper body strength for strong inversions-any advice how I can do this?



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One of the best ways to improve at headstand and handstand is to do them. 5 times a day or more and they will improve in no time. Handstand we can do almost anywhere, I suppose. Headstand we need a spot to do that one.
For strengthening the core we want to strengthen all sides of the torso evenly, everything from the shoulders to the hips. We want to strengthen the muscles and be careful not to shorten them or create a tight spot - counter poses. A general all around core yoga practice will work great for this. Maybe Candace will put a link in if she happens to see this.
Here are some examples of poses and their general intention. There are many more but this should give a general idea to get started.
Locust  (Salabhasana) strengthen the entire backside, stretches the front
Upward Plank (Purvottanasana) strengthen the entire backside and shoulders, hands, stretches the front
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) A very underrated pose with great benefits same as above and more
Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana) strengthen the front side, stretches the back
(Lolasana) strengthens hands, arms, shoulders, torso, legs, stretches the back. Lolasana is my fav http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/hard-core/
Good luck with your teacher training.

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Sit ups are very effective at strengthen the 'stomach' muscles. They mainly focus on the rectus abdominis. So yes, if a person is attempting to strengthen this specific area they are great.


There are a couple dozen muscles in the torso. If one muscle is strengthened and the others are not this creates an imbalance which can lead to difficulties practicing all the poses in yoga. And can even cause injury. We need strengthening and flexibility on all sides of the lower torso to stabilize the hips and back. In the upper body to stabilize the shoulders and back. The link in my first reply is very worthwhile.


This drawing shows many areas to work on


Robbie, Vicky and yogafire like this

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