Do you have plank problems? Not to worry, it happens. It takes practice to get a strong and beautiful plank that feels amazing. To be clear, planks were not my fave while I was building strength and healing shoulder pain. After gaining strength, healing my shoulders, and working on technique, it's now a pose that makes me feel like a rockstar. While you don't have to take on that perspective just yet, let's work on your technique. Plank problems I tend to see are creepy shoulders/no neck, winged shoulder blades, saggy pelvis, high hips, and lazy legs.
Fix Creepy Shoulders/No Neck
Stack shoulders and wrists. Press strongly into the four corners of your palm and grip through your fingertips. Draw your shoulder heads away from your earlobes and pin them there. Then reach your heart forward as you gaze six inches out in front of you. Now you have a long, regal neck.
Fix Winged Shoulder Blades
Stack your hands, wrists, and shoulders. Reach your heart forward. Activate your serratus anterior (muscles along the ribcage) by drawing your wrists toward the back of the mat. This action will help your scapula slide down your back and lay flat.
Saggy Pelvis Fix
Lengthen your tailbone toward your heels as you draw your pubic bone toward your navel. This action helps to lengthen, or fill out, your low back spine. Draw your low belly toward your spine to turn on those abdominals and avoid the saggy pelvis. Tip: While standing, rest one hand on your low back as you reach the tailbone down and draw the pubic bone up. Notice how the low back fills slightly. This is the same action you want in planks + chairs!
Fix High Hips
Try dropping your hips so that your shoulders, hips, and heels are in one strong line. If there is too much strain on the wrists, shoulders, or core, simply drop your knees to the ground and use the 'saggy pelvis fix' to create a strong line from your shoulders, hips, and knees. This is a smart option to take as you strengthen areas that had been talking to you.
Fix Lazy Legs
With your shoulders and hips set, squeeze your thighs like you're trying to hold a small ball in place. Lift your kneecaps to activate your quads and send that energy out your heels. Now you have active legs.
Once you have all of this in place and you feel strong, give that rockstar attitude a practice run. Smiling always helps. ;)
In Health + Happiness, Jody