Whether you’re a HIIT junkie, a sculpting fan, or a gym rat, there is one pose that is universally used across nearly every workout -- Plank.
As a powerful core strengthener, plank pose can be practiced on its own or as the base for more advanced moves such as mountain climbers or Chaturanga. When practiced correctly it has a range of benefits including:
- Strengthening the arms, wrists, and shoulders
- Improving posture
- Stretching and strengthening the spine
- Toning the abdomen, chest and low back
Unfortunately, plank also happens to be a pose that is easy to perform incorrectly. As with all exercises, proper form and correct alignment are key to receiving all the benefits the pose has to offer while also avoiding injury. See below for five common mistakes we often see people do while in plank, so you can make sure your next plank is on point.
Incorrect Hand Placement
Many times people put their hands too far forward or too far apart, leading to wrist and shoulder injuries. Before you get into plank, always check your hand placement and ensure wrists are directly under your shoulders. Not only does this provide a more solid base for your plank, but it also helps protect your joints.
A “sassy” or “banana” back can lead to some major low back pain if you’re not careful. Try slighting tucking your pelvis and squeezing your glutes to ensure your spine remains in one nice long line from the top of your head to your heels.
If your core muscles are a little weak it may be tempting to round through the upper back in order to hold the pose longer. Unfortunately, this just adds pressure to your shoulders and removes all the awesome abdomen benefits you would normally be receiving. Try contracting your upper back to prevent any unnecessary rounding.
It can be tempting to tuck your chin to your chest and look in between your hands when doing Plank, especially as you’re counting down those final seconds! This can lead to some major neck pain and also compromise the alignment of your entire pose. Try keeping your neck in a neutral position by gazing just a few inches in front of your hands.
We hope these tips will serve as a small mental checklist every time you practice. Soon you’ll be a plank pose prodigy!
Read More: 3 Simple Partner Yoga Poses for Beginners
Power Up Your Plank With These JUSes
PB Power // Blended Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, Chia Seeds, Raw Cocoa, Dates, Maca, Cacao Nibs, Himalayan Sea Salt, Organic Vegan Protein (Pea Protein Isolate)
Mighty Mint Chip // Spirulina, Coconut Meat, Dates, Mint, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla, Himalayan Sea Salt