How to Practice Plank Pose 

When you’re ready to learn how to do a plank pose, you might assume it’s as simple as relaxing on the floor in a straight line with your arms and legs outstretched. But that’s not the only way to do it! There are plenty of variations that can strengthen your core while also improving your posture.

Most of us know that the best way to improve our core strength, and overall posture, is to practice exercises like plank pose. As a beginner to this exercise, you may have some questions about how to do it correctly, so here’s a step-by-step guide to help you know what to do: The planks should be done in sets of 10-15. The difficulty depends on your current fitness level. Start with the easiest variation of the plank you can do, and work your way up to the harder variations.

Plank is one of the most basic and difficult poses to master. It is the position that most people start with in the beginner’s yoga classes, and it is also the one most people get stuck on. The reason is that it is difficult to balance your entire body in this position, especially when you are new to yoga. No wonder most people find it impossible to hold for longer than a few seconds! The good news is that there’s a simple secret that can help you learn how to do planks properly.. Read more about plank pose benefits and let us know what you think.

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Hearing the instruction “let’s hold plank pose” in class may occasionally cause a quiet groan. Plank position is a mainstay in vinyasa and hatha yoga courses because it is a powerful, but difficult posture. It may be difficult to maintain this position, yet it has many advantages. 

yogi practicing plank pose for beginners

Plank position strengthens the body, and although it may be difficult at first, as you gain physical strength, it can make you feel stronger throughout your practice. Plank may be adjusted to fit your physique and requirements, and there is something for everyone. Plank position is the posture to learn first if you want to dabble with arm balances and inversions. 

 

Plank Pose’s Advantages 

Plank position is a dynamic posture that is often used in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and exercise warm-ups. Plank position, a powerful posture: 

  • Muscles in your shoulders, forearms, wrists, and upper arms are strengthened. 
  • Improves your ability to concentrate 
  • Abdominal and back muscles are strengthened. 
  • Strengthens and tones your core.
  • Your spine will be lengthened as a result of this. 
  • Enhances your overall endurance 
  • It energizes and strengthens your whole body. 

 

Preparing for Plank Pose 

Plank position is a wonderful warm-up for inversions and arm balances. It is, however, necessary to warm up before doing the plank position. Warming up your wrists, spine, and upper and lower body before starting your plank is an excellent idea. 

Wrist Motions

In plank position, a good wrist stretch may help a lot.

  • Sit in a comfortable sitting posture before beginning your plank.
  • Make fists with your hands and rotate your wrists in a circular motion.
  • After 3-5 rounds of clockwise movement, flip to counterclockwise.

Cat/Cow

With Cat/Cow, open your whole body and connect to your breath. 

Yogi practicing Cat/Cow

To practice Cat/Cow, do the following:

  • Begin by lying on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Make sure your fingers are spread wide and your hands’ heels are firmly planted on the mat.
  • Arch your back and gaze up as you inhale, raising your chin away from your chest.
  • Round your spine, tuck your chin to your chest, and pull your belly button in as you exhale.
  • Rep for a total of 5 rounds, moving with your breath. 

Downward Facing Dog is a kind of downward facing dog.

This posture is a wonderful warm-up for plank pose since it opens up your whole body. 

Yogi practicing Downdog

To do Downward Dog, follow these steps: 

  • Walk your hands forward to the top of the mat, starting on your hands and knees.
  • Lift your knees off the mat and your hips up toward the ceiling by curling your toes under.
  • Feel your sit bones and hips rise up into the sky as you spread your fingers wide and push the mat away from you.
  • If necessary, bend your knees; otherwise, straighten your legs and plant your heels on the floor.
  • As you continue to push the mat away from you and extend your spine, relax your head and eyes. 

 

Plank Pose: How to Do It 

If you’re new to plank position, it may be very challenging. Slowly and steadily go through the posture, paying attention to your body. 

Yogi in Plank pose

Plank posture should be practiced as follows: 

  1. Begin by lying on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Make sure your hands are exactly below your shoulders and spread your fingers wide on the carpet. 
  3. Raise one knee and straighten the other leg behind you. Carry on with the second leg in the same manner.
  4. Maintain your balance by standing on the balls of your feet and straightening both legs. 
  5. Activate your leg muscles by lifting up through the backs of your knees.
  6. Feel your belly button pull in toward your spine as you bring your belly button in. 
  7. Keep your abs firm and your core engaged. 
  8. Keep your hands beneath your shoulders and press your shoulder blades down your back slightly.
  9. Slightly tuck your tailbone under. 
  10. Look a few inches ahead of you while maintaining a long back of the neck. 
  11. Continue to push the mat away from you while maintaining a powerful whole body. 
  12. Take 5 deep breaths and hold them for 5 seconds. 

 

Misalignments that are common

In plank position, it’s critical to maintain correct alignment. This may make the posture more comfortable for you and protect your body from harm. The following are some examples of frequent misalignments: 

Yogi in misaligned plank pose

  • Hands and foot placement: Make sure your hands are beneath your shoulders and your fingers are spread wide on the mat. Yoga practitioners’ hands may be placed too far forward, causing the arms to be at an angle and the shoulders to rise near the ears. They may be too far behind you at other times, causing your shoulders to go over your wrists. Maintain a hips-width space between your feet and powerful legs. Maintain your hands exactly beneath your shoulders to keep your arms straight and your upper body powerful.
  • Hips rising up: If staying in plank is difficult, some yogis raise their hips up to high because it is easier to maintain them up in an almost Downward Facing Dog kind of posture. Make sure you can’t see your hips rising up if you’re training in front of a mirror. Maintain a straight line with your body, pull your belly button in to engage your core, and engage your legs. 
  • Collapsing the body: Plank is a difficult position to master if you haven’t built up your body’s strength. The more you practice, the simpler it will get and the greater your strength will become. It’s critical to maintain your core strong and your spine long while doing plank. To prevent collapsing your body, practice plank with your knees down if you’re still developing strength. 

 

Modifications

Modifying postures that you don’t feel 100% comfortable with is always a good idea. Take your time to build up your strength, and make sure your alignment is precise. 

Yogi practicing Plank modifications

Place your knees on the mat: Plank with your knees on the mat is a great way to strengthen your core and body. Check your alignment as you enter plank position. Drop your knees to the mat while keeping your body in proper plank posture. Maintain a strong core and push the mat away from you. With your knees down, concentrate on connecting to your core, lower body, and upper body strength. Your muscles will begin to gain strength, and you will ultimately be able to raise your knees off the mat. 

Stack a few blocks or use a yoga wheel to support your body weight: Stack a few blocks or use a yoga wheel beneath your belly or chest to support your body weight. Set up your blocks where you’ll need support before entering plank position. Come into plank and brace your body with the blocks. 

If you have wrist problems or discomfort, you may do a forearm plank instead of a plank posture. Bring your forearms down on the mat instead of your hands. Make sure your elbows are packed under your shoulders. You may either place your hands on the mat with your fingertips pointing to the top, or interlace your fingers and lay your baby finger side on the mat. 

 

Beginner’s Guide

  • Engage your lower body: Engaging your lower body will assist you in strengthening the muscles required for plank posture. It will also help you remain on your plank by lightening your lower body. Stay on the balls of your feet, raise your heels toward the sky, and pull up through the backs of your knees to keep your legs strong. Draw your belly button in toward your spine to activate your thigh muscles and your core. 
  • Be patient: Plank is a difficult position to master. Even the most experienced yogis may find it difficult, so be patient as you go toward plank. Pay attention to your body by changing the posture or remaining in it for a shorter period of time. 
  • Use your hands: Spreading your fingers wide on the mat can assist relieve wrist pain and enable you to push the mat aside more forcefully. Feel your shoulder blades compress down your back as you straighten your arms and push the mat away with correct alignment. This can help you locate the energy you need in plank by using your upper body. 

 

Plank Pose Variations 

Plank position may be enjoyable! Next time you’re on your mat, try one of these variations: 

Yogi practicing Plank variations

Forearm Plank: Instead of using your hands, practice plank posture with your forearms. Keep your elbows beneath your shoulders and either push or interlace your fingers on the mat. 

Shift your weight to your right hand and stack your legs on top of each other for a side plank. As you raise your hips and extend your left arm toward the sky, push the mat away with your hand. Repeat on the other side after 3-5 breaths. 

One-legged Plank: Maintain your plank position while lifting one foot off the mat. In plank position, you may either maintain your leg straight with toes flexed or bring your knee near your nose. Rep on the other side, and then raise one leg at a time for a couple rounds. 

 

Contraindications

If you have an injury to your finger, wrist, or shoulder, avoid plank position or do a modified version. In addition, if you have high or low blood pressure, you should avoid this position or modify it with a Forearm plank. If you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you should avoid this posture or modify it with a Forearm plank.

Plank is a physical posture that allows you to feel your strength and stability. With so many physical and emotional advantages, it’s a position you should certainly include into your exercise routine. Remember to make adjustments as required and to be patient with yourself as you gain strength and stamina. 

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Mariel is a yoga instructor and writer living in New York City. She has been teaching for ten years and has been a lifelong student of the old art.

Before talking about the benefits of this pose, let us first learn how to do it correctly. Inhale, and on the exhale, while keeping your abs tightened, particularly your obliques, lift your buttocks off the ground and slowly bring them down to the ground.. Read more about upward plank pose and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you do a proper plank pose?

You should start with your hands on the ground and your feet together. Then, you need to lift one leg up and bend it so that the knee is at a 90 degree angle. Next, you need to put your other foot down in front of the first foot. Finally, you need to bring both arms up in front of your chest while keeping them straight.

What are 3 techniques for a proper plank?

3 techniques for a proper plank are to keep your elbows close to your body, push with the palms of your hands and extend through the wrists.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • plank pose
  • plank pose benefits
  • plank pose yoga
  • plank pose sanskrit
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