Plank pose is sort of a magical pose. You do it during a yoga class as well as during a strength training class and fitness trainers often call it “the only exercise you need to train your whole body”.
Plank pose prepares your body for more advanced yoga poses. For example, you should attempt handstands only when you feel confident doing planks.
If you don’t like doing a plank, it might be that you are making some alignment mistakes which complicate the pose. If you do everything correct, the pose no longer seems that hard and you may actually start to enjoy it very much!
Don’t do this is you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Practice with caution if you have problems with back and wrists.
How to do a plank pose
- Start with a Table Pose.
- Align your wrists to be right under your shoulders, palms and fingers pressed into the floor, middle fingers parallel to each other.
- Pay attention to your neck here. It shouldn’t be scrunched up. Don’t hunch your shoulders, instead pull them away from ears.
- Move your thighs backward and straighten your legs. Your heels should be right over the balls of the feet.
- Now your neck, spine, and legs should form one line (a mirror will help at the beginning). Don’t drop your belly, chest, or legs. Instead, draw your abdomen towards your spine, and keep the body strong.
- Stay in the pose for a few breaths. You may later increase the time in the pose to a minute or even more. As you are in plank pose, try to push the mat away — this will help to fully engage your arms.
- Rest in Child pose
Tips: don’t concentrate on counting off seconds, instead concentrate on your breath, on pushing the mat away, and on keeping your body strong. Beginners may practice this pose with the knees on the floor. In this case, the spine and hips should form one line.
Benefits of a plank pose
- Prepares your body for advanced poses, such as Bakasana and Handstand
- Strengthens wrists, arms, legs, core, neck, and more!
- Trains core muscles
- Tones glutes
- Strengthens spine muscles and improves posture
- Builds stamina
- Helps you focus on the present moment
- Gives you a sense of achievement.
Plank exercise is a perfect exercise for when you feel like having a short workout but you don’t have any particular ideas. You can practice it alone and it will bring you results. Plank is a static pose and it doesn’t require a warm-up, if you feel like you need to warm your joints a little, you can perform a few rounds of Cat and Cow. And don’t get surprised when Plank becomes one of your favorite yoga poses!
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