Flexibility, relaxation, less stress—even if you’ve never stepped foot in a yoga studio, you’ve probably heard all about the mind-body benefits of a regular yoga practice. But before any of you type-A personalities go straight for the sweaty strength workout, we have one more surprising perk to add to the list: stronger abs.
It’s true: Getting your “om” on will help fire up your core and hone in on those hard-to-reach stomach muscles. In this simple routine that takes less than 15 minutes to complete, yoga instructor Brett Larkin proves how yoga can seriously tone your core through a sequence of balances, planks, and static holds. (Yes, you can get stronger without even moving a muscle.)
Grab a mat—no other equipment necessary—and get ready to feel the burn, from your upper abs to the lowest, deepest muscles in your core. You’ll use your breath to focus on drawing your abs in, since staying in control is better than making big movements here. By the end of this sequence, your mind may feel more centered and calm, but your abs will be begging for mercy.
Brett Larkin teaches vinyasa flow yoga at top San Francisco studios and on her YouTube channel, where thousands of students have studied with her for more than five million minutes. Find free yoga playlists, yoga teacher training tips, and free dance, yoga, and meditation classes at BrettLarkin.com.