The Marvelous Plank

Plank is my favorite yoga pose. It is a truly fundamental asana. It teaches you to hold yourself together giving you the power you need for other yoga poses. Plank builds abdominal strength; you might even find yourself shaking as you practice it. It can strengthen your arms and keep your wrists healthy.

Great photo of side plank

If you practice this pose, over time your upper back and neck posture will improve, and you’ll create support for your lower back as you learn to engage your abdominal. But in order to experience these benefits, it’s important to work toward creating a well-aligned Plank Pose.

High Plank Pose

High Plank
  1. Put the hands directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) like you’re about to do a push-up.
  2. Firm the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs should be working in the move too; careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees. 
  3. Look straight into the floor, firm the neck and spine. Your head should be in line with your back.
  4. Hold the position for 10 breaths. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.
They are so many variation of basic plank and I posted the picture for some of them. The plank can even be more difficult by raising a leg. All plank postures build upper and core body strength, lengthen the spine and strengthen the low back muscles.

Reversed Plank

Chaturanga or Half Plank

Elbow Plank

Side Plank

5 Most Common Plank Mistakes

Collapsing the lower back.
Instead of lowering back by dipping the bum, engage the core by imagining your belly button pulling in toward the spine. This will help keep the torso flat, and in turn, the spine safe. 

Reaching the butt to the sky.
Planks aren’t supposed to look like a downward dog. To really get the core working the way it should in the plank position, keep your back flat enough so your abs feel engaged from top to bottom. Just don’t dip the tush too far toward the ground.

Letting the Head Drop
While the focus may be on keeping the hips, butt, and back in the proper position, form isn’t only about the core and the lower body in this move. It’s important to think of the head and neck as an extension of your back. Keep your eyes on the floor, letting them rest about a foot in front of the hands, which will help keep the neck in a neutral position.

Forgetting to breathe.
It’s our nature to hold breath when in a strenuous position for a period of time. But denying yourself oxygen can bring on dizziness or nausea, which are unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst.

Focusing too much on finishing the pose.
Do not watch too much for the number of seconds ticking away when it comes to the plank. When your form begins to suffer, it’s time to call it quits. If the back begins to bow or the shoulders start to sink in, take a break.