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Sara Bigatti performing Plank pose - Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana is one of those poses in yoga a lot of people have a love-hate-relationship with, because it’s one of the hardest poses. At the same time it’s one of the best poses to get your blood pumping through your body to warm you up for the poses to come.

Getting into it is easy, holding it in the right way is harder. You want to have your elbows directly under your shoulders and your wrists in line with your elbows. You want to chuck in your chin a bit and you want to engage your abdominal muscles by pulling in your bellybutton, squeezing your gluteal muscles and thigh muscles.

By engaging all these muscles you are building strength and endurance in your abs, back, core, gluteal muscles and hamstrings, which will improve your posture.

How to do Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

  • Start in Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Draw your body forward till your shoulders are over and in line with your wrist
  • Push in your hands like you want to push the floor away. Round through your shoulders
  • Engage your abdominal muscles, pulling your bellybutton in
  • Engage your pelvic muscles
  • Stay in the pose for half a minute, slowly working up till five minutes

Benefits Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

  • Tones your belly by building up strength in your inner core muscles
  • Strengthens gluteal muscles, upper back, thighs, arms
  • Reduce back pain, thanks to a stronger core
  • Stretches muscles around your shoulders and the arches of your feet
  • Boosts mood and gives energy

Contraindications Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

  • Wrist injuries

Enjoy, be safe!

This pose is part of the Yoga Beginners Course. If you’re new to yoga you can download this course in our shop in exchange for a donation.  

Source: Light on Yoga – BKS Iyengar; Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long;  Ashtanga – David Swenson;  Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Want more? Check out our library of yoga poses


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  1. How to do plank pose the healthy way (video tutorial) - 3 May 2017

    […] unhealthy. The big trick is to go step by step. You need to build the strength some poses require. Plank is a great way to build strength, but you have to be aware of your alignment. This tutorial will help you do high cplank the healthy […]

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