Journey Tribe, you’re invited to the super exclusive, incredibly effective, and so damn fun (once you finish) – PLANK PARTY.
The name of today’s yoga video pretty much gives it away, but just in case we’re not on the same page, let me clarify. Today’s yoga class focuses on creating strength through plank pose, it’s favorite cousin – forearm plank, and different transitions that include plank.
But why plank, how did it win the leading role?
There are a handful of reasons, but I’ll start with the personal.
Many of you are well aware of my healing journey from chronic pain and how my practice has become limited to certain yoga poses, styles, and activity in general, or in simpler terms, vinyasa yoga is out and targeted strengthening exercises are in….. like plank pose.
So when brainstorming a yoga class that could help you and me, plank pose was one of the first ideas that popped into mind. It’s known for being an all over body strengthener, it’s challenging AF, requires your full-body awareness and attention, and it’s a pose we see and do frequently in the yoga practice.
And on a more spiritual, woo-woo level, I love that plank pose embodies our entire being from the crown of the head to the toes, bringing our focus through the chakra system and specifically, awakening the manipura chakra. Your space for transformation, willpower, energy, confidence, and a warrior like attitude.
Now let’s dive further into this pose by breaking down the how-to, understanding the benefits behind it, and the modifications that are available to you if plank pose isn’t currently in your practice.
Commonly, you’ll experience stepping back into plank pose during a vinyasa/sun salutation, rocking forward into it from downward facing dog, or coming up into it from tabletop pose.
And while there’s no right or wrong way, I find that starting from tabletop brings both greater awareness and the permission to be patient. In today’s class you can expect a mix of lifting up and transitioning from plank to downward facing dog, so don’t fret, you’ll get to experience more than one way.
But let’s imagine we’re in tabletop position for this moment and to add greater awareness + activation, I recommend placing a block between your upper, inner thighs (which we do in today’s class).
Now let’s really begin.
- Create a neutral tabletop position with shoulders stacking over wrists and hips over knees
- Firmly plant your hands on the ground, spread the fingers wide, and push down beneath the thumb and pointer finger
- As you push into your hands, straighten your arms, make space from shoulder to shoulder across the upper back, expand through your collarbone, and lengthen through the crown of the head (no neck drooping or cranking here)
- Moving down the body, begin to energize the entire core, bringing bellybutton back towards the spine and knitting your side body into the midline as if a corset is wrapped around you…. and yes, say hello to your abdominal muscles
- Focus on your alignment, bring low ribs to hip points as you send the sacrum down towards the heels, finding an even deeper activation in the core area
- Now it’s time to step the feet back and arrive in plank pose
- Once here, energize the shit out of your legs, lifting the backs of the legs towards the sky, and squeezing that block between your upper thighs (if you have it)
- And lastly, envision your strength traveling from your heels to the crown of the head, and passing through each chakra center, creating a full body experience
Oh and one more thing yogis, don’t forget to breatheeeeee.
- Focuses on the wrists and hands, helping to build flexibility and strength simultaneously
- Works the spinal muscles, specifically the spinal extensors that support us in standing upright
- Lengthens and strengthens the neck muscles helping to combat daily life habits like texting, reading, and social media scrolling
- Tones the glutes through recruiting them to maintain a neutral pelvis, aka not letting your hips sag and your low back be compromised
- Tones the triceps
And if you’re someone who can’t stand plank pose because of the heavy load on your wrists, try this yoga video and add some of the exercises into your daily movement routine.
Per usual, almost every yoga posture includes modifications making it accessible to many of us, regardless of experience, athletic capability, or willingness (cuz sometimes a girl needs to just drop her knees).
Below are a few to know and keep in your yogi toolbox.
- plain ol’e tabletop, stopping before you step the feet back, but setting everything else up
- tabletop + hover the knees for extra core love
- plank pose with the knees down
- forearm plank for either wrist discomfort/injury or for a greater challenge
- forearm plank with knees down for when you need a break
- side plank, which is a whole other story, but you can begin the journey here
And that summarizes why plank pose won the leading role!
Now it’s time to start the plank party, so join me in stepping on your yoga mat, maybe cranking some EPIC tunes, and setting the intention to create strength one plank pose (and breath) at a time.
I’ll meet you there, xoxo.
Hey! I’m Allie.
I’m a self-growth student, freedom-seeker, yoga teacher and the founder of a tight-knit online yoga community: the Body Mind Soul Studio. I’m here to teach you how to transform your life on-and-off-the-mat with a holistic yoga practice.
I wanna learn it all!
The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.