Planking – love it or hate it

Planking - The Strength SeriesLove it or hate it – it’s hard to avoid some version of this – whether it be in yoga, pilates, the gym, or fitness classes.

Remember when planking was a social media craze? For good reason – as building a solid plank will provide a solid foundation for other strength work.

Lately I have seen some very creative versions of plank – ie., 30 plank variations! Yikes – they are actually fun to play with but first it’s important to build a strong foundation before you start to get crazy with it!

Planking - The Strength Series We now start to carry over the benefits of the hand/arm, upper body work in downward dog and build on it.

Keep your shoulders over your wrists and strongly pull in the front ribs aiming to lengthen your lower back.

Commonly students lift their hips or sag in the lower back instead of truly focusing on keeping a long and straight line in the body. Work hard to pull the front ribs in, yet not round your back.

Bring back the ground reaction force outlined in downward dog (this post)  and press the hands firmly to the floor while creating a lifting sensation through the torso, especially the breastbone and front ribs.

Planking - The Strength SeriesThe legs are often under-utilized – press the heels back and press front of the thighs towards the back of the thighs. Aim to feel the work in the upper back, near the lower shoulder blades rather than letting the shoulders creep to the ears. Create a good amount of resistance/tension – the good kind, in the body for stability and strength.

If this is too advanced, rather than let this pose fall apart, do it from the knees, keeping all the suggested alignment in place.

(Originally posted to Instagram – follow along here »)

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