Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Abs and Back Muscles

Your core is a lot stronger than you think. Engaging in yoga poses that target the core not only support your overall posture, they can also strengthen your back muscles that further promote a stronger you.

The various movements, twists, backbends and balancing poses, you perform are all due to a strong core and back supporting your body as it strives to improve.

Yoga Poses for a Strong Core and Back

Building a strong core and back will only benefit you in the future with better posture, improved balance and a stronger self.

1. Forearm Side Plank

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Abs and Back Muscles

Side planks are excellent in strengthening your core muscles as it activates and engages them to maintain balance.


  • Lie on your side and place your elbow directly underneath your shoulder with your palm facing down on your mat and your feet stacked on top of each other.
  • As you press on your forearms, raise your hips as high as you can, making sure your legs are extended.
  • As you feel the stretch in your waist, raise the opposite arm toward the ceiling.
  • Hold this pose for about 60 seconds.

2. Cat/Cow Pose

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Abs and Back Muscles

Cat/cow pose improves flexibility in the neck, shoulders and spine, as you work to boost core and back strength.


  • Start on your hands and knees and focus on your breath. Allow yourself to relax.
  • As you inhale, drop your belly and lift your chest and neck to get into cow pose.
  • Exhale to pull your belly in and arch your back to get into cat pose.
  • Continue to alternate between the poses for 10 gentle breaths.

3. Locust Pose

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Abs and Back Muscles

Promote strength in the spine and back as you engage the abs and give your body a good stretch with locust pose.


  • Start by lying on your stomach with your forehead gently touching the mat and your arms extended out beside you.
  • Prepare your muscles to lift up as you start to contract the arms, legs and core.
  • Lift your head, chest and arms off the mat and as high as you can, followed by lifting your legs and thighs off the mat. Try to gradually lift your limbs higher if possible.
  • Lengthen your neck and focus on your breath as you hold this pose.
  • Hold this pose for 10 breaths.

4. Camel Pose

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Abs and Back Muscles

Camel pose engages the body in a deep backbend and helps to reduce fat from the thighs and improves digestion as it stretches the abs.


  • Get down on your knees and stand on your shins with your knees hip-width distance apart.
  • Start to lean back slowly and reach your hands to grab on to your ankles or heels. Your back should be arched and your head should fall in between your shoulder blades.
  • Push your hips forward and make sure your core is tight and engaged.
  • Hold this pose for about 5 breaths.

5. Boat Pose

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Abs and Back Muscles

Boat pose is an active pose that engages your core muscles. With regular practice, you will come out with stronger core muscles that include the abs and lower back.


  • Get into a seated position with your legs and arms extended out in front of you.
  • Raise your feet to make them parallel to your mat and raise your arms to shoulder level in front of you.
  • Lean back slightly and lengthen your spine. Keep your core tight and engaged.
  • Hold this pose for 10 breaths.

Quick FAQs

1. What are some of the effective yoga poses for stronger abs and back?

Effective poses to strengthen your abs and back muscles include boat pose, camel pose and locust pose. There are various other poses that you can also try that are mentioned above.

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Petrie, T. (2018, January 30). Exercises for Strengthening the Core & Lower Back. Retrieved from

Sugar, J. (2018, January 15). 9 Core-Carving Yoga Poses. Retrieved from