While it’s normal for your weight to fluctuate from day to day or throughout the seasons, having a permanent tummy has its risks.
The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat).
Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and sleep apnea (1).
5 Poses To Trim Your Waistline
If you find that you’re struggling with getting rid of your belly fat, try these yoga poses.
It only takes about 10-20 minutes to complete the whole set, depending on your pace. Plus, it won’t deplete your energy, so you can do it everyday.
1. Wind Easing Pose
This pose strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, tones the leg and arm muscles, enhances blood circulation in the hip joints and eases tension in the lower back.
It also massages the intestines and other organs in the abdomen to help digestion, heal constipation and relieve bloating (2).
- Lie on you back with your legs shoulder’s width apart.
- Bend your knees, with your feet flat against the ground.
- Place your hand on your stomach and take a deep breath.
- Breathe deeply and extend your right leg towards the sky.
- Bend your right knee towards your chest and interlock your fingers around your shin.
- Squeeze your knees towards your heart and keep your chest relaxed.
- Breathe deeply.
- Slowly extend your left leg, flexing your feet towards the sky.
- Take your time and keep breathing.
- Next, squeeze both knees into your chest and wrap your arms around them.
- Rock lightly from side to side.
- Release and repeat with your other leg.
2. Cobra Pose
Use this exercise to stretch the spine, chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen. It also firm up your buttock and soothes sciatica.
It also helps to relieve stress and fatigue and may benefit asthma sufferers by opening up the chest and lungs (3).
- Lie on your belly your your legs hip-width apart
- Lift your legs, one at a time, and rest them top-down on the floor.
- Press your toes and knees into the floor.
- Place your hands on either your chest, with palms firmly on the ground and your elbows tucked alongside your body.
- Lift your chest off the ground whilst keeping your shoulders back.
- Lift your head further towards the ceiling, making sure to engage the muscles in your legs, tummy and back.
- Exhale and slowly go back down.
- Rest and repeat.
3. Plank Pose
This pose strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine as well as the lower back muscles. It also helps tone the abdomen and improve posture (4).
- Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Your hands should be directly under your shoulder and your knees should be under your hips.
- Make sure that your palms are firmly on the ground, finger spread wide.
- Step your feet back, one and at time, making sure that your toes are comfortably supporting your weight.
- Look down, keeping your neck in line with your spine.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles to keep your body in a straight line. Do not let your hips sink to the ground or your butt stick out .
- Keep your shoulder back to open up your chest
- Keep the pose for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Release the pose by dropping to your knees.
- Rest for one full minute and repeat.
4. Bow Pose
Use this exercise to strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors, and spine. It also helps relieve stress and improve digestion.
The pose is also said to stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines (5).
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your palms to the floor.
- Make sure your hands are behind your back.
- Press your palms firmly into the ground to lift up your spine without pushing your ribs out.
- Lift your knees towards your chest, keeping your abs tight.
- Extent your legs so that your shins are parallel to the ground and flex your toes outwards.
- Breathe deeply.
- Keep your tummy tight and reach out towards your legs with your arms, keeping them at the same height.
- If you can, stay in this position and extend your legs diagonally.
- Your body your be in a V shape, with toes flexed outward.
- Release the pose by repeating the steps backwards.
- Pause, and repeat.
5. Upward Bow Pose
Try this pose to get a deep stretch in the entire front of the body, ankles, thighs and groin, abdomen, chest, throat, back muscles and deep hip flexors (6).
This pose is a workout in itself and is probably the most challenging and effective pose in this list.
- Lie down with your tummy to the floor.
- Lift up your chest by resting your forearms and palms on the ground. They should be a shoulder’s width apart.
- Exhale and bend your knees towards you, keeping your toes slightly pointed.
- Lift your thighs off the ground and bring your arms back to reach for your shins. Your feet should be touching.
- Keep your neck relaxed and gently push your legs outward, pulling your chest off the ground.
- Soften your reach.
- Gently roll over to your right side, making sure that your feet and knees are touching.
- Reach back, keeping your head back and aligned with your body. You should feel a good stretch.
- Soften and roll over to your original pose.
- Roll over to your left side and repeat the stretch.
- Soften and roll over to your original pose.
- Get back into your deep stretch and hold for 5 breaths.
- Release and ease yourself into the downward dog position.
- Rest for a few breaths in this position.
If this routine is too challenging at first, start with a few poses and work your way to all five. As it gets easier, repeat the poses or the entire routine and see those extra pounds melt away!
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