Sun Salutation Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Sun Salutation is a bodyweight exercise that works your abs.

Sun Salutation is a great basic move. When done correctly, it can effectively target your core and waist.

It requires no equipment to do.

Sun Salutation
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Core Waist Abs
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Core Waist Abs

How to do Sun Salutation


Start by standing up straight with feet shoulder width apart, placing your hands together and grounding yourself with your feet.

Extend your arms skyward and bend your body inward and put your palms on the surface.

So either walk or leap back on both feet into a prone stance, forming a clear line across your body from your knees to your shoulders.

Push your hands forward in front of your arm and drop your body to around 2 inches off of the surface.

Begin to drop your body to the floor and then inhale while you bring your palms to the floor and curl up your arms into a Cobra stance.

Tuck your feet and raise your legs up high into a Downward Facing Dog, staying for 5 to 10 seconds and then ease back up to the standing pose.

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do sun salutation from this step-by-step illustrations:

Sun Salutation 1
Sun Salutation 2

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for sun salutation may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for sun salutation are:

Primary Muscles

  • Abs

Synergyst Muscles

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Sun Salutation work?
Sun Salutation works abs.
What is Sun Salutation good for?
Sun Salutation is beneficial for conditioning, for stretching and to strengthen. It works the best for core and waist, as it works abs. Sun Salutation is a great bodyweight exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Sun Salutation a good exercise?
Sun Salutation is a popular bodyweight exercise for abs.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Sun Salutation faster?

Sun Salutation Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Sun Salutation and how should you?

Sun Salutation Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Sun Salutation Alternatives


Wonder how to make Sun Salutation either easier or more challenging?

Sun Salutation Variations

Discover more


Type(s) Bodyweight, Calisthenic, Strength, Compound
Muscles Worked Abdominals
Difficulty Level(s) Basic, Easy
Equipment No Equipment
Location At Gym, At Home, Outdoor

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Abs
Synergyst muscle(s)

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