Strength: Challenge Yourself With Core Boat Crunch

The Core Boat Crunch gets your core actively working, deep hip flexors moving and your confidence soaring.

by Asana Rebel

1 Benefits

The core boat works to tone and strengthen your core as well as your lower back, improve your balance and digestion, even lowering your overall stress levels.

2 Step-by-Step Guide

Begin by starting in a Downward Facing Dog (stacking your shoulders in line with your wrists, keeping your hips in line with your knees, tucking your toes, lifting your knees off the floor and taking your hips into the air).

  1. Release your knees to your mat, crossing your legs behind you and letting your bodyweight fall back onto your legs.
  2. Now as you lift your knees and legs straight out in front (your thighs angled about 45 degrees relative to your mat), stretch your arms out straight with your palms pressed together and your fingers pointing toward your feet.
  3. The motion goes like this: stretch your knees and legs out and then back in, bringing your inner knees to your outer elbows while keeping your palms pressed together. (Remember to not let your feet touch your mat.)
  4. Repeat this motion a total of 10 times, taking some deep inhales and exhales to focus on the strength of your core.
  5. Slowly release your legs out, without touching your mat.
  6. As you bring your knees and legs back up and in again, now shift your weight to your right side, keeping your palms pressed together and your arms stretched out straight to that particular side.
  7. Now switch to your left side, keeping your palms pressed together and your arms stretched out straight to that particular side.
  8. Repeat this sequence a total of 20 times (so, 10 times on each side).
  9. Finish by returning to your initial boat pose – you made it!

3 Focus Areas

  • Stretches your hamstrings
  • Strengthens your lower back, spine and hip flexors
  • Tones your core

4 Core Boat Crunch Tips

Be mindful that your back stays straight and doesn't round. Ideally, you should be comfortably sitting on the "tripod" of your two sitting bones and tailbone. Keeping your lower belly relatively flat, core strong and your face relaxed will help to anchor yourself in this pose.

5 Variations

Want to challenge your body even further? Instead of keeping your arms out straight in front of you while you’re switching to both sides, try clasping your hands at the back of your head. This really works those core muscles! Just don’t forget to breathe.