Love handles or that side bulge that you have been meaning to shed can be quite an irritant. Yoga is all you need to lose those love handles and tone your abdominal muscles.
Abdominals are made up of four major muscles — the transversus abdominis, the internal and external obliques and the rectus abdominis. These muscles work together to provide core and spine stabilization and to flex and rotate the trunk. Building abdominal strength can provide air for back pain, improve posture, and shrink love handles!
So, let’s take a look at these 5 yoga poses that will help you burn that extra fat and handle those love handles:
1. Extended Triangle Pose
This pose activates the lower obliques, strengthens the thighs and relieves backache.
– Stand with your feet about 3-feet apart.
– Turn the left foot slightly towards the right and set your right foot forward.
– Align the right heel with the left arch, raise your arms parallel to the floor, and actively reach out to the sides with palms facing down.
– Take a long and deep breath as you gaze over your right fingertips. Then exhale and drop your torso over the right leg.
– Remember to bend from the hip joint, and not the waist. Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle or grab the big toe.
– Keep both legs straight, thighs engaged. Stretch the left arm up towards the sky, directly above and in the same line as your shoulder, with your palm facing forward.
– Turn your head upwards, look at the left thumb or gaze towards the floor.
– Press the outer edge of the left foot firmly to the floor. Rotate the torso open to the left to lengthen
– Stay for five breath cycles, and then switch sides.
2. Tree pose
The tree pose does wonders on your love handles and hips and here’s how to do it.
– Stand and lift your right leg off the floor, cupping your right foot in your palms.
– Try to place your foot on your left inner thigh using your hands such that your heel is close to your pelvis and your toes point downwards.
– Once you get the grip and balance, bring your palms together to fold your hands.
– Ensure that your back is straight and your balance is intact as you stand on one leg.
– Stay for five breath cycles and then switch legs.
3. Wide-Legged Forward Bend
This strengthens the spine and gives it a much needed stretch. It stretches the inner thighs and tones the abdominal muscles.
– Spread your feet about 4-feet apart.
– The inner feet are parallel to one another with toes slightly turned inward.
– Press the outer edges of your feet and big toes firmly into the floor.
– Engage your quads by lifting them up. Bring your hands to the hips.
– As you inhale, lift the chest. Then exhale and bend forward keeping length through the torso.
– Release your hands to floor aligning them under the shoulders.
– Draw the head down towards the floor.
– Keep the wrists aligned under the elbows, spread the fingers, pull the belly in and lift your quads and maintain the position for five cycles of long and deep breathing.
4. Boat pose
This pose will help tone your thigh muscles, lower abdomen and obliques.
– Sit with your legs stretched out.
– Lift your legs as you tilt your upper body backwards to balance your body using the strength of your pelvis and hips.
– Simultaneously, raise your arms and keep them stretched out and parallel to your legs with your palms facing each other.
– Ensure that your back is straight and your toes are pointing upward and hold this posture for five breath cycles.
5. Plank pose
The plank pose engages and tones the abdomen and strengthens the arms and spine.
– Begin with a tabletop position. Align the knees under your hips and your shoulders over your wrists.
– Press your hands into the floor and step one foot back at a time, bringing your torso parallel to the floor.
– Allow the arms to remain perpendicular to the floor with the shoulders parallel to your wrists.
– Press your outer arms inward and spread your shoulder blades wide.
– Spread the chest open, draw the tailbone down, lift the thighs, and reach back through the legs
– Reach the head forward and gaze softly towards the floor.
– Stay for 5 to 10 breath cycles.
Try these 5 yoga poses to tone your core and say goodbye to the love handles.