Plank Pose (Phalakasana or Uttitha Chatturanga Dandasana)
Sinead takes us through Plank Pose this week, take a look at our Side Plank Pose of the Week for a good all around development of your core.
Plank is a fantastic pose for strengthening the wrists, arms, spine and the belly! If you have any wrist or shoulder injuries, or suffer from a sore lower back, you can always practice this with your knees resting on the floor to help take the strain out of the pose.
How to perform Plank Pose
Step one: Start in Downward Facing Dog
You can start in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog), here you can get used to the entire of both your palms pressing towards the floor with the weight spread evenly.
Step two: Draw your chest forward
On an inhale draw your chest forwards so that your shoulders come over your wrists, your torso is parallel to the floor.Make sure you’re rolling weight through the base of your index finger towards the floor, roll your shoulders down your back and let your shoulder blades flatten towards your spine. Lift your belly muscles towards your spine and feel that gives you space to lengthen your tailbone towards your heels. Finally press backwards through your heels so that you feel your front thighs become firm and strong.
Step three: Relax your face and focus on your breathing
It’s around about this point that our face tends to harden quite a lot! So let your expression and your eyes soften and make sure you’re breathing deeply!Try to hold this pose for 6 deep rounds of breath, to come out of the pose you can lands your knees a bit wider than your hips and sit your hips back towards your heels, keeping your hands forward on the mat so that you can rest in Adho Mukha Virasana.
Things to watch out for in practice of Plank Pose
Remember, only practice as long as you feel the support system is still there in your belly, arms and legs. Once they become tired, they can’t support the spine the way it needs, so take a rest
Why not practice your plank pose every morning? Every evening?
Practice your plank pose in class so you can get a real sense of the nuances and micro movements that a good plank has. You can practice and develop your Plank Pose anywhere that takes your fancy! You’ve got this blog post to always refer back to as well.