Ohhh the Yoga Plank - loved by some and loathed by even more. Plank Pose is a strengthening yoga pose that works the arms, legs, and core muscles. It is often practised as part of your Sun Salutation or Flow, so usually you aren't left working in it for too long, which can mean you aren't always in proper alignment. Today I wanted to break the Yoga Plank down a bit more to show you some "Do's" and "Do Not's" while in the pose, simply because it's a very easy pose to be a bit "sloppy" in. Unfortunately, if you aren't doing Plank correctly, you are missing out on some of it's wonderful strengthening properties, but it will still feel like a very difficult pose (maybe even more difficult than if you are in proper alignment). Keep reading for my list of "Do's" and "Don'ts" for your Yoga Plank.
1. Keep your hands shoulder width apart and your feet hip width apart.
2. Keep your elbow creases facing one another.
3. Stack your shoulders over your wrists.
4. Keep your hips slightly lower than your shoulders.
5. Hug your belly into the spine to keep the spine supported so the spine doesn't "sag" toward the floor.
6. Stretch back through your heels so your legs stay super active! The more active the legs are, the less weight you will feel through the upper body.
7. Lift the chest slightly so the shoulders aren't rounding at all.
8. Keep the head in line with the spine - You should be able to place a pole across your back body and it should create a diagonal line (see photo)
9. Bring the knees down to the floor if the pose is too challenging with the knees lifted.
1. Keep your feet together.
2. Lift your hips higher than your shoulders - otherwise you are moving into a downward dog.
3. Have your shoulders behind the wrists - downward dog again.
4. Let your head fall below the spine.
5. Let the knees bend and belly sag if the pose feels too challenging and the body is fatigued. Bring the knees down instead!
One complaint I often hear in Plank pose is that the wrists hurt. Now, some of this is normal and the wrists will strengthen over time. However, if you are in proper alignment and working the legs and engaging the core, there will be less weight onto the wrists. Let me know if you try some of my tips for your next Yoga Plank and if it makes a difference!