top of page

Asana Analysis: Plank

This is a strong pose that is typically a part of any vinyasa or power-style yoga class. It is a great pose for improving strength, stability and endurance of the torso, arms and legs. However, all too often this pose is quickly bypassed on the way to cobra or up-dog. Learning to make the most of your plank will help to keep your shoulders healthy and your core strong.

Points of Body Awareness:

*Align the ankles, the knees, the hips, shoulders and the ears to form a diagonal line.

*Make sure the hips are not sagging or lifted up above that diagonal line.

*Maintain neutral spine alignment. (Slight inner curve in the lower back, slight outer curve between the shoulder blades, slight inner curve in the neck)

*The middle finger points strait ahead, the fingers are spread and the thumbs stretch inward toward each other.

*Press into the bridge of the hands and keep the thumb-side of the hand grounded, including the ball of the index finger.

*Create space between the shoulder blades while keeping the collarbones lengthened.

*Keep the gaze on the floor slightly ahead and release any unnecessary tension in the neck, shoulders or jaw.

Muscles Strengthened in Plank:

pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps, serratus anterior, transverse abdominus, rectus abominus, iliopsoas, rectus femoris, quadriceps, posterior neck muscles

To Modify:

Try holding plank pose from the knees, a chair, tabletop or wall.