And hold it.. 5, 4, 3, 2,...
Your yoga instructor is hovering right over you while you hold a plank pose. You're practically shaking in your skin. How did she all of a sudden turn into the Yoga Sergeant?
Finally, she counts down to 1 and you can finish your vinyasa. What a relief! But then she has you do it again... and again...
Plank pose is a foundational strength posture necessary for building core, wrist, and shoulder strength. Mastery of this pose will help other poses such as chaturanga, side plank, arm balances, and more. Repetition helps build strength!
The next day you may be a little more sore than usual, but think about how good you felt after class and for the days to come. Every time you practice a plank pose, you get a little stronger, a little more definition in your shoulders, arms, and core, and build your focus and determination! You will be thanking her for making you “drop and give me a zen” after all!
How To Do Plank Pose
- Start in a tabletop position with the hands underneath the shoulders. Press down through all ten fingers and slide the shoulder blades into the back so the neck and spine are long. Gaze just past your fingertips and lift the belly muscles inward.
- Tuck your toes and step one foot back at a time so the knees come off the mat and your entire body is parallel to the floor.
- Press back through the heels and engage the thighs so the kneecaps are lifted.
- Make sure the abs stay engaged so you don't make a hammock with the hips! You want one straight line from head to toe. Don't be the one in class the teacher has to fix and keep everyone else holding it for longer!
- For some extra challenge: lift up one feet after the other: great balancing excercise as well!
Remember, the more you practice plank, the stronger you will get. You can always start modified with the knees down if you're really struggling. Keep your head lifted, arms and shoulders engaged, and the core strong. Oh yeah, and breathe! You'll be surprised how much a deep breath can make you enjoy this position a little more.