How to Do Boat Pose

This yoga pose will strengthen your abs, hips and back

Catarina Cowden

Boat pose (Paripurna Navasana) is a yoga posture that strengthens the muscles of the abs, hip flexors and spine.

It can be modified in many different ways and is often used as the basis for several different ab exercises. Follow these steps to ensure you’re using proper form when practicing boat pose and ab exercises that involve the posture.

Good form is essential to your workout routine not only because it makes the exercise more effective, but because it will help you to avoid injury, too.

-How to do Boat Pose-

1. Start seated with your legs straight out in front of you. Draw your knees towards your chest slightly so that they are bent with your heels resting lightly on the floor.

2. Sit tall with your core engaged and your shoulders back and down. Maintain a straight spine and look straight ahead the entire time. When you’re ready, lean your torso back slightly so that your heels raise off the ground until your thighs form about a 45- to 50-degree angle with the floor. 

3. Extend your knees to that your calves are parallel to the floor (as pictured above). If your flexibility and core strength allows, extend your knees all the way until your legs are completely straight for a full boat pose.

4. Keep your core engaged by drawing your bellybutton towards your spine and be sure to maintain a steady breathing pattern for the entire time that you hold the pose. To make the pose more challenging, lift your arms up and extend them straight out in front of you with each on either side of your legs.

To make this exercise more difficult see the workouts linked below which feature different core exercise variations that use boat pose as a base.

Get Fit Quick: Best Beach Body Workout
Arms & Abs: Ultimate Upper Body Workout

Note: Be mindful of your fitness level and always consult your doctor before beginning a new training program 

Thanks to Body Space Fitness in New York City for sharing their exercise space with us.


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