Plank poses are great for full body engagement and strengthening; in this article we’ll be exploring how to do plank pose, specifically high plank pose and some of the benefits of this pose.
There are different types of plank pose: high plank, forearm plank, side plank, upward plank and then different variations of those – and they’re all pretty good for strengthening not just the core like most people think, but the whole body. Any variation of plank helps to strengthen your legs, arms and core. Upward plank is especially good for stretching out the hip flexors after being in forward folding poses.
High plank pose or Phalakasana is a great whole body workout. I always practice it when I don’t have a lot of time but I’m trying to ignite my core in a short period of time. I also like plank because it’s easy to tell if you’re getting stronger based on how long you can hold it. So, if you can hold plank for 30 seconds one week, and all of a sudden the next week you’re able to hold it for 40 seconds, you know you’re getting stronger both physically and mentally.
There are two things you need to pay attention to in high plank, in order to properly engage your core. First of all, ensure that your belly and abdominal muscles are pulling in towards your spine. Then, simultaneously tuck your tailbone towards the mat while lifting your thighs up towards the ceiling. Doing this helps activate both your upper and lower abs.
You also want to ensure that you’re really pushing the floor away with both your palms. Imagine the space between your shoulder blades expanding like a balloon. This helps to keep your shoulders and upper back safe by preventing you from dumping your weight in your shoulders and wrists.
How to do Plank Pose
Beginning in table top pose, step your legs back and lift your hips up to create a straight line from your head to your heels.
Keep your gaze down a few inches in front of your palms and prevent any compression in your neck.
Press the floor strongly away from you to keep your shoulders engaged, and draw your belly in towards your spine.
To come out, slowly lower your knees to the mat and return to table top pose.
Strengthens the arms, chest, wrists and core.
If holding this pose you can modify by lowering your knees to the mat while keeping your upper body in a straight line and keeping your shoulders right above your wrists with your core engaged. After practicing it this way for a while, you’ll build up enough upper body strength to support yourself in the full expression of this pose.
I hope this guide on how to do plank pose has been helpful for you. Leave a comment if you’d like a guide for a specific yoga pose!