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This exercise is all you need to tighten your tummy

April 25th, 2011 2 Comments

Check out your secret weapon to a tighter tummy this summer!

I learned the “yoga block crunch” in Kate’s power Vinyasa class at Cura the other day.  A day later,  I felt like I lost a whole inch off my waist!  As I’ve reignited my yoga practice, my abs and leg have both become so much firmer and stronger.  Then this movement came along…It’s a killer, but in a good way.

The crunch is pretty technical, so pay attention.  It won’t work unless you meticulously perform it properly every time.

The Setup:

  1. Lie flat on the floor and put your hands behind your head.
  2. Raise your legs straight up so they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Flex your feet and push towards the ceiling with the balls of your feet, not your heels.
  4. If this is too challenging, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle.
  5. Take a yoga block or rolled up towel and place it between your upper thighs.
  6. Squeeze.  Hard!

The set up is challenging on it’s own.  So if your core is weak, start off by seeing how long you can hold this position.

Adding Movement:

  1. Continue to squeeze the block; don’t let up on it as you move.
  2. Inhale deeply as you lift you tailbone off the ground barely an inch.
  3. Pull your elbows in around your face.
  4. Exhale using your core to push the air out as you raise your shoulder blades as far as you can off the ground.
  5. Hold at the top until you have exhaled all of the air and contracted your abs completely.
  6. Lower down to your starting position and repeat 15 times.

The key points to remember: squeeze the block, lift your shoulders up all the way, and pull your navel in as far as it will go.

Worked like a charm for my pooch, and I’m sure it will for yours too!

(Cura Yoga has two studios in Houston that have tons of great power yoga classes!)

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  • RS

    A video of this exercise would be helpful.

    • You’re right. I used pictures so I could point out the areas you need to focus on. It’s hard to see all of the pieces in a video sometimes.

      Don’t over think it. Once you start squeezing the block between your legs, you’ll feel you’re way into the movement.