Magic Yoga Moves for a Trim Tummy
Watch Kristen McGee, Health's contributing fitness editor and yoga guru, show you how to get a slim waist without ever doing another sit-up again. Then continue reading for even more magic yoga moves for a flat stomach.
Magic yoga move: No more muffin top
Score a slimmer, stronger middle with this tiny-waist routine.
Does it seem like no matter how many crunches you do, your muffin top remains? Here's the deal: Crunches work only the top layer of your abdominal muscles. To totally trim your waist, you need to target both the deepest front layer of muscle (the part that acts like a girdle to hold your tummy in) and the side muscles (called obliques).
My favorite sequence to do just that is Boat to Canoe to Reclined Staff. Another belly-blasting bonus: Yogic sequences like this help you tune in to your internal signals, making you more likely to eat better (and stop when you're full) so you're less likely to pack on the paunch.
Go through this sequence three to five times at least three times a week, then lie on your back and rest for a few seconds with your hands on your belly; feel it sinking down in toward your spine. While you rest, picture yourself with a svelte middle—and a smile, naturally.
How to do it:
Jay Sullivan 1. Sit on a mat with knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Inhale and engage your abs as you lift your legs up—calves should be parallel to the mat with knees still bent. Hinge your torso back so its about halfway between the floor and upright; balance on your sitting bones.
2. Maintaining your balance, exhale and extend your legs so your body forms a V.
3. Inhale as you slowly lower both your upper and lower body toward the mat; pause with torso and legs still slightly lifted.
4. Exhale as you lower your upper body all the way down and raise your legs straight up so your feet point toward the ceiling (your body should form a 90-degree angle).
5. Inhale as you bend your knees and hug them to your chest. Exhale as you rock back up to sitting with knees still bent, feet on the floor.