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Plank poses are popular yoga positions in many power yoga classes because they build strength in the arms and wrists as well as the spine, and they help prepare the body for handstands and other more challenging inversion poses later in the class.
To get the most power out of your plank, remember these points:
Start in downward-facing dog, then release your torso forward until it is approximately parallel with the floor. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. Keep your shoulders directly above your wrists. You are essentially in the “up” position of a standard push-up. Pull your navel towards the back of the spine, spread your collarbones wide. Rotate your outer arms in to protect your shoulder joint.
Try to hold a plank pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
Plank can also be one of many partner yoga poses. Have your partner loop a yoga strap around your upper thighs and lift upward, while you stretch your tailbone down against the pressure of the lift, and focus on a feeling of lengthening along the backs of your thighs out through your heels.
You also can build strength in the shoulders with side plank pose (vasisthasana). Move into a plank pose, then rotate to the right side, balancing on your right hand and the outside edge of the right foot. Extend your left arm up to the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds if possible, then release back to a standard plank pose, hold it for a breath, and then rotate to the opposite side.