Since I committed to doing daily planks in February (which I’ve been pretty good about, only missed a few days!), I figured it only made sense to share a post breaking down planks a little for those who may not be familiar with proper form or the benefits of planks!
Plank pose is a staple of any yoga practice or workout routine and while it may seem simple, it works many different muscles groups and it’s important to make sure you’re doing it correctly!
Benefits of plank include strengthening the arms, core and lower back and doing this pose regularly can help lengthen the spine and improve posture.
- Begin on hands and knees making sure your hands are aligned directly under your shoulders, fingers spread wide
- Engage your core and keep your head in a neutral position (don’t allow your chest or stomach to sink down!)
- Step back one foot at a time, toes curled under and pressing back through your heels
- Your body should be in one straight line from the top of your head down to your heels
- Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths, lower down and repeat (some people work to hold planks for as long as they can, I’ve found that this doesn’t work for me because it bothers my back, so do what works for you!)
**Note: a traditional yoga plank is often done on the hands with straight arms, but often in fitness they are done on the forearms – either way is fine!**
If you are working with any wrist issues this pose can be done on the forearms. In this variation your elbows should be lined up under your shoulders – it’s also a great shoulder stretch!
If you are working on building up your core and back strength, a good place to start is a plank variation with your knees on the ground – if you’re knees are sensitive place a folded towel or blanket under them.
To add some additional strengthening to your plank pose try some crunches! (I LOVE these!)
Begin in a plank position, lift your right leg a few inches and bring your right knee towards your nose. Extend it back to the starting position. Bring your right knee towards your right elbow, extend it back and then bring your right knee towards your left elbow. Extend it back, lower it down to the original plank position and repeat on the other side.
Planks are a simple pose, but done correctly and regularly it offers tremendous benefits and is a great addition to any workout routine!