Asana of the Week: Plank Pose

Plank Pose is a great way to get strong.  When practiced correctly, this simple yet challenging posture works the whole body, from the arms, chest, and abs right down to the ankles.

From Adho Muka Svanasana (Downward Dog), shift your body forward until your shoulders stack over your wrists.  Spread your fingers and roll the biceps forward as you draw the triceps back.  Push the ground away and feel your back body engage to support the spine.  Keep the belly lifting and the tailbone tucked.  Strengthen the legs and press back into the heels to flex the feet.  Stretch the sternum forward as you press the heels back, finding maximum length from head to heels.

Do not allow the hips to sag toward the floor or buckle toward the ceiling.  If the integrity of the posture is lost due to weakness of the core muscles, take the knees down and practice a modified variation until sufficient strength is gained.

Hold for 5-10 breaths.  When the posture can be held for 10 breaths without strain, you might consider working with some more extended holds in Plank to test your own staying power.  I like to bust out the timer and hold here for 4-5 minutes or more to challenge my willpower and steadiness of mind.

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  1. What a great idea to hold for several minutes!!! Why didn't I think of that?! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ah, 4-5 minutes is very impressive. My family had a friendly competition over Thanksgiving and I was pretty proud of my 3 minutes but my little cousin beat me with 4 minutes. On for a friendly competition to 10 minutes? ;)


    1. Hi Geoffrey,

      I think 5 minutes is plenty -- things get pretty real around minute 4 -- but I'm a sucker for a challenge.