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Yoga pose: high plank

The high plank is a classic static asana yoga pose that works many muscles throughout the body. Some of the muscles engaged while you are holding this pose include your triceps and shoulders, abdominals (core), back, gluteal muscles and legs. It enhances balance and strengthens the hands and wrists. There are many variations and, beginners may lower their knees to the floor to take some of the weight off of the arms and other muscles. In full form, you should be almost in the starting position for a push-up, arms straight, weight balanced between hands and balls of your feet.

You can start on all fours. Keeping spine long and extend the sternum away from the navel. Keep lower spine straight and flat. Start by extending your legs back one at a time until you are in a straight line, facing the floor, balancing on your hands and the balls of your feet. Keep weight evenly distributed and keep hands in line with the shoulders. Engage your core to hold this position and don’t lock your arms at the elbows. You should feel many muscle groups engage. The longer you hold the position, the more your muscles will have to work to keep proper positioning. Start by holding for 30 seconds. If your form starts to slip, take a break.

Pose of the week: side plank

The side plank or sage tree is a balancing yoga pose that targets your shoulder and arm muscles. This pose involves supporting your body weight using the strength of one arm at a time. Concentrate on pushing away from the floor with the supporting arm, positioned directly under your shoulder, while extending your opposite arm toward the ceiling. Avoid allowing your torso to sag toward the floor and keep your legs straight, forming a “T-shape.” You will find that you are simultaneously toning your oblique muscles as you hold this position. For the modified version, balance on the knee closest to the floor.
Photo: © Moshimochi |