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Plank Pose

Table posture that tones abdominal muscles and lengthens your spine.
 

Plank Pose strengthens your arms, wrists and upper body. This pose also tones your abdominal muscles and helps to lengthen your spine. By supporting the weight of your body with your arms, this pose can strengthen your bones. Building strong bones can help prevent osteoporosis - a bone disease that causes your bones to deteriorate, becoming fragile and prone to breaks.
 
Plank Pose is commonly performed as part of Sun Salutation.
 
Make sure you do not raise your buttocks up too high or drop your pelvis or chest toward the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. You can tighten your abdominal muscles to help keep your body in a straight line. As you maintain this straight line, focus on lengthening your spine. You should also concentrate on moving your breath through your entire body to release any tension.
 
You should avoid Plank Pose if you have wrist problems, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
 
Steps:
Begin in Table Pose.
Move your hands forward approximately 6 inches.
Press your hands into the floor and then curl your toes under.
Inhale as you straighten your legs to position yourself on your hands and feet.
(You may need to adjust the position of your hands so your body forms a straight line.)
(Keep your wrists directly under your shoulders. Your arms should be straight, but your elbows should not be locked.)
Extend your heels away from your body.
Move your shoulders down and back.
(You should keep your body straight. Do not allow your chest or pelvis to drop down or your buttocks to rise up.)
(Make sure you keep your head in line with your spine.)
(Visualize your body lengthening from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet.)
Hold the pose for 10 to 20 seconds.
To come out of the pose, exhale as you bend your knees and return to Table Pose.
(After performing Plank Pose, you should perform a forward bend, such as Child's Pose, to release your spine and rest your arms.)
 
I find Plank Pose difficult to hold. What can I do?
If you find the pose too difficult to hold, you can lower your knees to the floor. With your knees on the floor, rest the top of your feet on the floor and make sure your upper body and thighs form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. This modification is especially useful if your arms are not strong enough to support your body or if your upper body is weak or injured.
 
How can I make Plank Pose more challenging?
To make Plank Pose more challenging, perform the pose as described in the steps above and then inhale as you lift one leg parallel to the floor. Remember to lengthen your body from the crown of your head and out through the sole of your raised foot. Hold your leg in this position for 10 to 20 seconds and then exhale as you lower your foot to the floor. Repeat this variation with your other leg raised.
 
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