PLANK POSE //
A fundamental pose in yoga, esp in Sun Salutations, but often we move through this pose too quickly to get our alignment right. So here’s a breakdown!
1. ENGAGE CORE TO LOOK LIKE A PLANK OF WOOD, NOT A BANANA
Basically, more or less a straight line from shoulders to heels – you want to prevent saggy hips. But how?
- Engage the core by drawing the navel & sides of your waist towards your spine
- You also don’t wanna have the bum sticking up like a duck. Lengthen the tailbone towards your heels – this naturally engages the core.
- Work those thighs! While you’re lengthening the tailbone to your heels, push the tops of your thighs upwards, firing up your quads.
2. HANDS SHOULDER-WIDTH APART & ELBOWS MICROBENT
You want to keep the fingers spread wide, with the hands directly under the shoulders. Also ensure that your wrist creases are parallel to the top edge of your mat, and press down into the knuckles of your index finger and thumb to keep the wrists safe. It’s tempting to dump all the weight into our joints, but instead, try to keep a little bend in the elbows, engaging the forearms & upper arms.
3. PUSH THE MAT AWAY FROM YOU
Once you do that, you should notice the muscles in the upper back & upper arms start to work – like really work. Instead of crunching through your shoulders, you want your shoulder blades to spread away from one another as you round the upper back slightly, creating space in your neck.
1. NOT QUITE THERE STRENGTH-WISE? KNEES DOWN.
Better to drop the knees than have unsafe alignment with your knees lifted. Follow all the same cues – keeping the neck long, hands shoulder-width apart, elbows microbent & shoulder blades spreading apart.
2. PALMS HURT? PAD UP.
I find that the base of my wrists get sore and bruised when I plank too long, so I like to fold up a towel a couple of times to place my hands on for padding.
3. WRISTS HURT? FOREARMS DOWN.
If you have a wrist injury, weak wrists or you’ve just been planking way too much, forearms down! Just make sure the elbows stay directly below the shoulders.
Let me know what other poses you guys want help with! x