Plank Pose for Beginners Yoga
- Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Breathe smoothly and evenly through your nose. Bring your thoughts to focus on the present moment.
- Spread your fingers and press down through your forearms and hands. Do not let your chest collapse.
- Gaze down between your hands, lengthening the back of your neck and drawing your abdominal muscles toward your spine.
- Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line.
- Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. If your butt sticks up in the air, realign your body so your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
- Draw your pelvic floor muscles toward your spine as you contract your abdominal muscles. Keep your head in line with your spine. Broaden across your shoulder blades and across your collarbones.
- Draw down through the bases of your index fingers — do not let your hands roll open toward the pinkie fingers.
- Press the front of your thighs (quadriceps) up toward the ceiling while lengthening your tailbone toward your heels.
- Hold the pose while breathing smoothly for five breaths. If you are using the pose to build strength and stamina, hold for up to five minutes. To release, slowly lower onto your knees, then press back into Child’s Pose and rest.
4 Common Plank Pose Mistakes
Proper form is very important when performing planks and overdoing it could lead to injury.
Be particularly careful doing planks if you have back pain or injury. And if you’re just starting out, try holding the plank position for several seconds only, slowly working your way up to where you can hold it longer. In addition, be careful to avoid these common plank mistakes:
- Allowing your hips, head, or shoulders to drop
- Placing your hands too close together, which creates internal rotation and instability at your shoulder joint
- Holding your breath
- Trying to hold the position too long – it is better to maintain proper form for a shorter period of time than to hold improper form for longer
Benefits of Plank Pose
- Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine
- Tones the abdomen
- Improves your mood
- Increases flexibility
- Improves balance and posture