4 Yoga moves for a slimmer middle

Belly fat gets a bad rap, but there are all sorts of problem spots that can take up residence on your torso. From bra bulge to just-above-your-bikini-line pooch and everything in between, these 4 poses target your tummy while firming up your chest, shoulder and back muscles, too. And with no equipment required, they're easy enough to do at home-or, hey, even at the beach or by the pool!

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Rocking Boat

This exercise starts with a yoga move called the Boat Pose. To get into it,
start by sitting with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Then, lean back slightly while holding under thighs, grabbing just above back of knees. Raise feet off floor and press them together; lift feet until shins are parallel to floor. Extend arms to shoulder height straight in front of you with palms down. This is Boat Pose. Turn it into the Rocking Boat by tipping knees from one side to the other, trying to keep the motion steady. Repeat right to left 10 times.

Bent-Leg Boat Raise and Lower

Start in Boat Pose, as described in Rocking Boat. Lower torso and legs toward floor, without touching, so body forms a wider V. Return to the start position. Repeat 10 times.
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1-Minute Plank Pose

Plank is just like push-up position: Hands are shoulder-width apart, feet are hip-width apart, and heels, ankles, butt, spine, shoulders, neck, and head should be in one long line. Try holding the position for 1 minute. This is a full-body toner; help your body stay in one strong line by drawing your abs in and up.

Get your free download: Best yoga poses for walkers

Upward Dog Stretch

Start this move by lying facedown with tops of feet on mat. Bend elbows and place palms on floor beside lower ribs. Push up, straightening arms without locking elbows, and lift upper legs and torso into air. Arch chest upward, lifting sternum, and keep elbows in, close to sides. This pose opens your chest and gives your abs a nice stretch, so breathe deep and enjoy your hard work.

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[photo credit: Getty Images]

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