Strengthen your Arms and Core with Plank Pose

Plank is great for both beginning and experienced yoga practitioners. It strengthens and tones your shoulders, upper arms (bye-bye arm jiggle!), core (yay!), and lower back. It takes lots of focus and awareness of your body to stay in plank pose for any amount of time, making it a great way to prep for other yoga postures.

To get into Plank Pose:

  1. Start on hands and knees with your shoulders lined up right above your hands.
  2. Spread your fingers wide and press your hands into the ground. Be especially mindful to press down through the base of your forefingers.
  3. Maintain a slight microbend in the elbows so that you do not hyperextend your arms.
  4. Keep both your back and your chest broad – so you are neither caving into your chest nor sinking into your spine.
  5. Extend one leg back, toes turned under and knee off the ground, then the other. Keep your feet hip width apart. Check that you are still maintaining steps 1-4.
  6. Staying firm in the legs, anchor onto the balls of your feet and press your heels back.
  7. Firm your lower belly towards your spine and lengthen your tailbone towards your heels. Look down at the floor to keep your neck long.

Try to sustain plank pose anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. When I’m in plank I think about radiating out through the top of my head and through my heels. I press my hands into the ground and draw energy into my belly. Continue to focus on these actions and you can stay in plank pose all day!

Modifications:
Belly starting to sag? Remain in plank pose and lower your knees to the ground. Maintain a long spine from your shoulder to your hips.

Painful wrists? Practice plank pose on your forearms. From plank pose, move onto your forearms by lining your elbows underneath your shoulders and clasping your hands. Then follow steps 4-7 above and isometrically pull your elbows towards your feet. Alternatively, you could use a prop use like GripItz.

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3 Responses to “Strengthen your Arms and Core with Plank Pose”

  1. Lee Ryan Says:

    How long would I have to do THIS to burn off a baconator?

  2. Julia Says:

    ha ha! a LONG TIME!!

  3. Lee Ryan Says:

    Damn! No more baconators I guess…

    Though I’d think that by eating lots of baconators and concentrating so much weight around my waist, I would improve the effectiveness of the exercise…??

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