Plank

Benefits

  • Strengthens the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, chest, back, core, hips, glutes and legs.
  • Stretches the ankles, calves and hamstrings.
  • Improves posture.

Therapeutic

  • Can help to alleviate lower back pain.

Skill Level

  • Intermediate

Category

  • Core Strength

Yoga 15 Series

    Instructions

    • From all fours, walk your hands forward, tuck your toes and come up into Plank. 
    • Spread your fingers wide and press your hands evenly into the mat. Check that your shoulders are directly over your wrists and your feet are hip-width apart. 
    • Try to create a straight line all the way from your heels, to your hips, to the back of your head. Engage your core and press back through your heels to straighten your legs. 
    • Look down at the mat to complete your alignment.
    • Hold the pose still for 5-10 breaths, or as long as you can without compromising your form. 

    Modification: Knee-Down Plank

    Modified Plank
    • If full plank is too intense, you can drop your knees to the mat. Draw your abs in.

    Variation One: One-Legged Plank

    One-Legged Plank
    • To increase the intensity, you can lift one leg at a time and hold still for 5-10 breaths.

     

    Variation Two: Forearm Plank

    Forearm Plank
    • You can drop down onto your forearms if your wrists are painful. You'll find it more challenging for the core and less so for the shoulders and triceps. 

    Variation Three: Spider Planks

    Benefits

    • Strengthen the core - the abs, obliques and lower back
    • Strengthen the legs, arms and shoulders 
    • Increase flexibility in the hamstrings and calves
    • Improve mobility in the wrists, shoulders and hips

    Instructions

    • In Downward Dog, bring your feet together. 
    • Inhale, lift your right leg up to the sky. Exhale, bring your knee to touch your nose - lift your hips up. 
    • Inhale, sweep your leg back up. Exhale, bring your knee to your right triceps. 
    • Inhale, sweep your leg back up. Exhale, bring your knee to your left triceps. 
    • Repeat 2-3 times on each side. 

    Contraindications

    • Avoid this pose if you have a wrist or shoulder injury.