Strengthen your Core by Cathy Madeo

Strengthen your Core by Cathy Madeo

Strengthen your Core in Multiple Positions

Strengthening your core for a sustainable body is a lot like eating for one. We’re often told that our plate should have every color of the rainbow to ensure we’re getting the right mix of nutrients. If you begin to see strengthening your core in a similar way, you can start to effectively train all the muscles that surround the spine and create a more balanced core, and in effect a more balanced body. Put this into action by doing core work from several different positions: your back (supine), belly (prone), hands and forearms (weight bearing) and standing. By doing so, you’ll likely target all the major core muscles without over, or under working any single muscle. Get started with these 5 yoga poses:


Primary Focus: Transverse & Rectus Abdominus

  • Lay on your back
  • Lift your head, shoulders and legs off the ground
  • Nip the front ribs down and draw the tailbone under
  • Low back is flat on the mat
Fire Hydrant Pose

Fire Hydrant Pose


Primary Focus: Gluteus Medius

  • Standing
  • Place your hands on the floor or two blocks
  • Lift one leg out to the side in line with the hip
  • Resist leaning on the standing leg
Plank Pose

Plank Pose


Primary Focus: Core Stability

  • Hands shoulder’s distance apart and wrist crease parallel with the front of the mat
  • Legs straight, heels over toe mounds
  • Hips in line with shoulders
  • Front ribs nip in
Forearm Swivel

Forearm Swivel


Primary Focus: External & Internal Obliques

  • Upper Body in forearm plank, Forearms parallel
  • Lower body in side plank, feet stack and inner edges of feet press into each other
  • Roll the shoulders away from the ears
  • Push the floor away with forearms and engage the lower side body
Locust Pose

Locust Pose


Primary Focus: Spinal Extensors

  • Lay on your belly, arms alongside your body, palms face up
  • On an inhale lift your head, chest and legs up off the ground.
  • Retract your shoulder blades by bringing them toward the spine.
  • Evenly extend the spine, so there’s not one area over extending.


Cathy Madeo is an E-RYT 500 yoga teacher. You can find her FREE e-book and signature style of yoga inspired core exercises at


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