15-Minute Yoga Routine To Build Core Strength - Monthly Yoga with Abi

Jan 18, 2016
by Abi Carver  
About Abi -
Abi Carver designs yoga routines for mountain bikers looking to eliminate muscular aches and pains, gain an edge in competition and unlock razor sharp mental focus, for next level performance. Her aim is to make yoga more accessible to action sports athletes so that they can do the activities they are passionate about for longer, with less pain and with more skill. Follow her @yoga15app for more yoga tips and tutorials.

Yoga for core strength

bigquotesThe best strategy is always to be very strong. - Carl Von Clausewitz, Military Strategist

After low back pain, the second most common physical complaint I hear from mountain bikers is a weak, underperforming core.

As literally every pedal stroke goes through the core, a bulletproof mid-section is essential for optimal performance. It gives you greater control of the bike - especially on technical downhill sections where you are constantly adjusting your balance and position, gives you maximum power, increases grip strength and endurance, enhances your breath efficiency, alleviates lower back pain, makes you more resilient to injury and gives you the confidence to hit your fastest speeds.

Every competitive athlete incorporates dedicated core stability work into their training program alongside traditional strength workouts, and mountain biking should be no different. To be the best rider you can be, you need to combine sessions on the bike, at the gym and on the mat.

This short yoga routine is not designed to replace your current core training program, but to fill in some of the gaps that may not currently be optimised. These are some of the unique benefits of yoga for building core strength:

- yoga simultaneously builds strength, increases flexibility, trains balance and improves range of motion
- yoga strengthens the postural muscles that support the spine
- yoga strengthens the muscles and ligaments that surround the joints, keeping them stable and effective at absorbing impact
- yoga works each muscle in the core from multiple / different angles
- yoga enhances body awareness and movement efficiency
- yoga corrects muscular imbalances and trains proper movement patterns
- the focus on the breath in yoga enhances lung capacity and efficiency
- yoga gives you a change of pace from riding and hitting the gym

The 15-Minute Routine
Views: 42,005    Faves: 408    Comments: 10

Here is a list of the poses:
1. Warm up
2. Plank
3. Cobra
4. Side plank
5. Spider planks
6. Boat
7. Leg lifts
8. Reclining spinal twist
9. Body scan meditation
10. Advanced Variations

When you feel comfortable with this routine, you can step it up a notch for more of a challenge:

Advanced Plank
Views: 5,040    Faves: 71    Comments: 1

Views: 2,882    Faves: 71    Comments: 1

Advanced Spider and Side Planks
Views: 3,219    Faves: 68    Comments: 2

Advanced Boat
Views: 2,657    Faves: 65    Comments: 1

Advanced Leg Lifts
Views: 3,051    Faves: 73    Comments: 2

You can download the full Core Strengtheners and Advanced Core Strengtheners videos here along with all the other routines for mountain bikers.

Please let me know how you get on in the comments below. And share this article with anyone you think could do with some yoga inspiration.

Previous Yoga with Abi:
Short Yoga Routine To Help With Lower Back Pain in Bikers
15-Minute Yoga Routine To Enhance Balance and Agilityl
15-Minute Post-Ride Yoga Routine
8 Quick Yoga Stretches To Do At Work

MENTIONS: @yoga15app

Author Info:
yoga15app avatar

Member since Feb 18, 2015
47 articles

  • 81 2
 Abi is awesome! All of the poses are well explained and easy to understand even for non-Yoga enthusiasts
  • 3 6
 Like the advanced plank for example.... screw that.
  • 12 1
 Thank you @chrisclifford - I try to make the instructions as comprehensive as possible, especially because I know most of you guys are pretty new to yoga.
  • 4 1
 But for non-english speakers it's a little hard... subtitles would help me a lot! I would be able to stop the video, read, and then understand what she says.
  • 12 44
flag BullseyeXer (Jan 19, 2016 at 7:35) (Below Threshold)
 Haha just admit guys, the cover pic lured you in and the videos was a bonus! xD but great yoga videos btw!
  • 59 2
 My yoga pants don't fit but my core is improving
  • 10 1
 1 out of 2 is not bad!
  • 46 1
 For the one in the first picture I would definitely need a full face helmet.
  • 32 1
 How many moderators does it take to manage an Abi post? You guys on high alert?
  • 29 1
 I clicked this to see all the funny hate comments and was blown away by how accepted yoga is by this crowd. I can't even sit down and do a quick stretch at the skatepark without getting ragged on.
I'm don't spend much time reading pinkbike articles anymore but this is great, keep up the good work PB Salute
  • 21 3
 I bought the full strength programme off vimeo on demand 6 weeks ago. i'm no yoga god. what she shows here is awesome. The strength programme is incredible. Its easy to start... nails at the highest level. just what I need. brilliant value for money... about 16 quid for 15 workouts, all graded and 15 mins each. best power yoga i've ever found, and its the best before breakfast yoga that is relevant to me I've ever done. I can feel the improvement esp in my core and turning ability when riding already. for what one punter says /opinion.... this is one brilliant way to train. massive thanks Abi.
  • 23 24
 I must say I like the videos and the way she does it. I am too anxious to perform some static yoga poses and listen to some holistic poop. Here I can move all the time and experience pain, instead of becoming one with the universe. I am also quite interested in caliesthenics - why should I attempt lifting 200kgs deadlift while I can't even comfortably lift my body doing chin ups or dips... TRX can be a btch too. Body weight beef cake!
  • 2 2
 Thank you @ovadebarz and @WAKIdesigns - bodyweight strength training can be as challenging as you want it to be. You might like to try the Balance series for some more advanced Strength routines:

  • 6 2
 @WAKIdesigns IM, gutted, I envisaged a greek god of a man
  • 37 18
 I've never lasted to the end of an Abi video
  • 9 0
 I've never lasted to the end of a Coastal Crew video If you know what I mean
  • 14 0
 Please post these more often. I always feel better after a few sessions, but without seeing it on the page, it drifts out of my consciousness and I forget to repeat it
  • 7 0
 Book mark it or add to a calendar for working out to remind you, it'll make you and your riding better.
  • 1 0
 You can also pick up the vids either through her app or off Vimeo. It's definitely some of the best money I've spent on fitness/health related items.
  • 2 0
 I'll publish an article around this time every month. And thank you @Albe23 - the vids are all on Vimeo if you want more:

  • 2 0
 Excellent. Keep up the good work @yoga15app we all appreciate it. I'm going to follow the advice and set myself some alarms to remind myself. No more constant back and neck pain!!!!
  • 17 4
 Thanks Pinkbike, I feel better ! Wink
  • 5 13
flag ivankvkharkiv (Jan 19, 2016 at 2:31) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry for asking.... But what have you been doing while watching these videos?)))
  • 5 8
 @ivankvkharkiv Exercising ! Smile ))
  • 5 12
flag ivankvkharkiv (Jan 19, 2016 at 2:38) (Below Threshold)
 Oh really! me too:-))))
  • 11 0
 If she can't get you into yoga, then nothing will.
  • 1 6
flag ivankvkharkiv (Jan 19, 2016 at 2:33) (Below Threshold)
  • 6 0
 Question for Abi (if she frequents these parts) - can you recommend any particular stretch/yoga moves for a tight thoracic spine (between lower shoulder blades specifically)? Been dealing with an old snowboarding injury for years and it always seems to rear its head at least a few times a year. I am on a back roller etc but would be keen to hear any suggestions.
  • 2 0
 I second that. Good question
  • 2 0
 Try eagle pose. I'm sure Abi's got a video somewhere, but here's a simple explanation. The upper body part should do the trick for you. Breathing into the trouble spots is immensely helpful as well. Smile www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC9XQWc6ukk
  • 4 0
 The foam roller is great for relieving pain in the thoracic spine @PierreVonOz. And @lacykemp is right about Eagle being great for stretching the upper back.

Here are a couple more poses with vid tutorials:

Feel-Good Poses: www.yoga15.com/home/6-top-feel-good-yoga-poses-for-athletes
Cat Cow: www.yoga15.com/home/athlete-pose-of-the-week-cat-cow-video
Thread The Needle: www.yoga15.com/home/pose-of-the-week-thread-the-needle
  • 1 0
 Thank you @yoga15app will give them a try
  • 9 1
 15 minutes with Abi everyday and you will feel and ride better!
  • 11 6
 took me just minute and it felt good
  • 5 1
 I've been hitting these 3x/week for a few months now - and, as advertised, my back feels awesome! I used to get a lot of pain from dirt biking, DH and/or pedaling - but no longer! Thank you Abi for the free health education! I swear I'll buck up and start paying once I'm not a broke grad student spending all my spare cheese on bike parts
  • 9 0
 No worries. Bike parts are potentially more important!
  • 9 3
 I like the way Abi does the movements with a bit of tempo. I think she knows how easily bored we get!
  • 3 1
 I design the vids like this @Dobbs59 so you can get the best results as quickly and efficiently as poss. I can get pretty impatient too!
  • 6 0
 Needs to ride more before I can do any of these... my tummy's in the way ^^||
  • 2 0
 I've never been able to touch my toes. I can barely reach mid shin at the minute so most of the leg movements in this were almost impossible. Especially staying straight legged in the leg lifts.
Any idea how long it takes to regain all that movement?
  • 2 0
 You do have to be patient @raytheotter. You may have a lot of years of damage to undo! But just take it slow and don't feel you need to have straight legs in the poses. I'll put up some hamstring stretches for you soon.
  • 1 0
 Thankyou for the reply @yoga15app. I will persevere Smile
  • 4 0
 Heavy barbell squats are great too, if you have the resources for them. Core strength, and leg strength.
  • 13 0
 Squats and dead-lift are the two best power exercises you can do.
  • 1 0
 Biking (certainly gravity assisted) requires dynamic/explosive power as much as anything.
Things like jump squats, clap press ups, hands off pull ups, power cleans and high pulls will be as much use as anything. Core? Hard to beat rollouts, deadbugs and toes to bars.
I'm not talking down deadlifts or squats, far from it. There is more to training than pulling as many plates as possible!
  • 2 1
 Squats, deadlifts, plyometrics, calisthenics and some isometric yoga poses and you should be pretty solid.
  • 7 3
 Oh, Abi (sigh). The only Pinkbike posts where you gotta read the hidden threads first.
  • 1 0
 I have been doing yoga classes at my local gym for a couple of months, I can definitely feel the difference when I ride, compared to this time last year. I feel more composed instead of floppy on the bike. I'll be using these videos at home. Thanks Abi
  • 2 1
 My pleasure @LankyRider
  • 1 0
 Love these courses, and cant wait to join in in another 3 months when my wrist works again. In the meantime don't suppose you can suggest any exercises for people who cant support bodyweight or flex one wrist? Would be amazing!

  • 2 1
 I'm sorry about your injury @locoola. Try to keep moving your wrist as much as you can without causing yourself pain. And maybe try a routine from the Relaxation or Therapeutic series that focuses on breathing and gentle stretching:


  • 1 0
 @yoga15app thanks so much for your suggestions!
  • 2 1
 My pleasure. And I don't know if you saw this article, but there are a couple of seated mobility poses here:

  • 1 0
 Thanks Abi, I actually bought a mat after watching your PB videos a few months ago. Even simplified dude postures for 10 minutes a day has improved my riding finesse immensely, a strong core is a game changer... so long beer gut!
  • 1 0
 That's awesome @dirtdoctor. Pink Bike will have to start selling mats soon!
  • 1 0
 @yoga15app - can you recommend a series of exercises to help my legs handle descending on a hardtail better? my hamstrings performed great as rear suspension when I was younger and indestructible, but nowadays my legs are destroyed at the bottom of one run. thanks!!
  • 1 0
 Abi's video series is fantastic. I used it all last year before my regular workouts to stretch and get mobile. They are short enough to keep your attention and the movements are easy to follow. Thank you!
  • 2 1
 Thanks @WhipChop. I'm impressed that you so easily made yoga a habit.
  • 1 0
 I've been sitting around the house doing nothing and decided to click this. I feel so much better after doing this! I'm goin to make it a routine to do one of these every day from now on. Thank you!
  • 1 0
 That's awesome @krahamgoats. Consistency is crucial to starting a new habit.
  • 4 0
 She's back thanks!
  • 3 0
 Thank you Abi, I really needed this!
  • 2 1
 My pleasure @SteveDekker
  • 2 0
 I bought her whole set off vimeo. The lower back pain one was the clincher. Now to find some discipline..
  • 11 7
 Looks like a Session!
  • 3 0
 Haha that's a good Un
  • 1 0
 Thanks Abi!You made my day♥15 minute routine done,my core dead,yoga pants ripped offBig Grin now it's time to taky my bike and enjoy the snow!
  • 2 1
 Have fun in the snow @johnnyprank!
  • 1 0
 I've bought several of Abi's series and they're fantastic. The 15 minute format is perfect. Love the post ride stretch. Very affordable too! Keep it up Abi @yoga15app !
  • 1 1
 Thanks! You too @tnkasper. I've got lots more vids to come for you guys.
  • 1 0
 @yoga15app getting pain in lower back when doing the advanced boat.. ? will this pain fade away after carrying out these exercises on a daily bases? Thanks
  • 1 0
 I would focus on the isometric holds (plank and side plank) for a few weeks @flemo until you build up the strength for the advanced versions.
  • 1 0
 Abi - thanks for organizing these. I responded with others regarding back pain and asked about some core building poses. This a perfect!
  • 1 0
 My pleasure @ajjrsons - core strength is essential for pretty much anything athletic.
  • 3 0
 Does this girl MTB?
  • 2 0
 Awesome set - first time today and definitly not the last one
  • 4 3
 ohhh my favorise yoga sessions Smile
  • 2 1
 Thanks @Vorona!
  • 1 0
 I downloaded her yoga app on my phone and I'm glad I did! Thanks Abi!!
  • 1 1
 My pleasure @RStalter!
  • 1 0
 Great start in my day, thank you Abi!
  • 1 0
 My pleasure @Twosixsimon
  • 1 0
 There's no way my arms can handle some of these poses!...
  • 3 1
 You'll get there @Worm-Burner!

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” Henry Ford
  • 1 0
 Spider and Side Planks: Way cool. Feels great. Thank you again Abi.
  • 1 0
 I agree @captaingrumpy! They burn...in a good way.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the easy access list and the individual pose vids Abit Smile
  • 1 0
 No worries @hangdogr. Let me know if there's anything else you need.
  • 2 1
 Awesome! Thanks Abi
  • 3 2
 My pleasure @Lead21!
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