How To Get The Most Out Of Plank Pose

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Almost every yoga class features at least one plank, yet very few can honestly say that they know completely what’s going on in Plankasana. Most view it as a great core asana, yet few actually access their true core, and many are cheating themselves or hurting their backs by allowing their arms to do all the work.
To help you take full advantage of Plankasana, here’s an overview of this widely used, but often misunderstood asana.

1. Pick your variation. 

Will you be practicing on your hands or on your forearms? If you’re going to be practicing on your palms, set up your hands shoulder distance apart and align the wrists under the shoulders. With your middle fingers pointing forward, press your entire hand into the floor, keeping a bit more weight in the knuckles. 

From the shoulder, rotate the folds of the elbows forward, without hyper-extending the joint (they look like they’re bending in the wrong direction). This is important so that you’re able to shift the load down into the core and prevent the shoulders from doing all the work. Without hunching, slide the shoulder blades down your back.

If you prefer planking on your forearms, get out of the habit of clasping the hands together in a triangle shape. This puts an emphasis on the pectorals, rather than the core. By opening up the arms to a shoulder width, you again shift the load to where it belongs. Turn the palms inward or upward when practicing, rather than down into the floor. Shift the weight evenly throughout the entire forearm and you’ll notice a significant increase in core power. Use a block between the palms for more core strength!

To continue reading this blog post on Plank by Hope Zvara please visit MindBodyGreen where it was posted live on April 4th 2013 (CLICK) and don’t forget to watch the video and share this with your friends!


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