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5 Hot Yoga Exercises To Burn Your Middle-Aged Midsection

Turn up the heat to torch away the fat from your torso.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you want to burn your middle-aged midsection, one of the most popular—and hottest—forms of exercise is hot yoga. "The average person can burn between 400 to 600 calories in 90 minutes," says Jimmy Barkan, master yoga teacher who pioneered hot yoga in the U.S. and practiced under Bikram Choudhury. "When practiced in a hot and humid room, the increased temperature can create a more intense workout and lead to increased sweating."

The benefits of hot yoga go well beyond staying lean. "As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, including a reduction in flexibility, which can lead to stiffness and discomfort, especially in the morning," Barkan explains. "Hot yoga can also improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle tone, and dramatically improve flexibility." The result? Overall better health as you age.

Read on for five foundational hot yoga moves that can help you burn your middle-aged midsection and unwanted flab. Practice these a few times a week, and reap the rewards.

1. Sun Salutations

The sun salutation is an incredible way to burn calories because it targets many different muscle groups at once through a series of several movements. It includes everything from a downward-facing dog to a plank to a forward bend and more.

"We do two sets of each," says Barkan. "It helps increase the heart rate cardiovascular function."

2. Standing Separate Legs Head to Knee

This is a great move that targets each side of your body while building much-needed flexibility and strength throughout your body.

"When practicing this pose, we press our chin to the chest," says Barkan. "By applying the chin or throat lock, the thyroid gland can be stimulated, resulting in an accelerated metabolism that facilitates weight loss."

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3. Standing Head-to-Knee Pose

"It's the heart and soul of hot yoga," Barkan explains because it's such a foundational movement that does wonders for your body as you get older. "By holding this pose for 60 seconds, two sets, we not only increase strength and flexibility but also burn up tons of calories in this extremely vigorous pose."

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4. Moon Salutation

Like Sun Salutations, Barkan explains Moon Salutations target your cardiovascular system and help you burn calories. This exercise includes multiple poses and lunges, which work your entire body and help you melt away fat.

5. Balancing Stick (Staff) Pose

This an incredible standing and dynamic exercise that's essential to hot yoga and offers tremendous benefits for your fitness, physique, and overall health.

"By lengthening the thoracic we allow the diaphragm to manipulate underneath the rib cage," says Barkan. "Not only is it beneficial for the cardio and respiratory systems it also helps asthmatics."

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony