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How to do the Pilates Plank Pose

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Updated October 17, 2009

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Full Pilates Plank Pose
How to do the Pilates Plank Pose

Plank Pose / Front Support. See Modification Next Page.

photo: Lara Kolesar, courtesy of Peak Pilates
Step 1: Preparation

Begin on your knees. Place your hands on the floor in front of you, fingers pointing straight ahead. Your arms are straight and elbows are not locked.

Engage your abdominals and lengthen your spine, extending energy through the top of your head and down through your tail bone.

Lean forward to put your weight on your hands. Align your shoulders directly over your wrists.
If bearing weight on your hands causes wrist pain, use a wedge or pad to lift the heel of the hand enough to relieve pressure on the joint.

Step 2: The Extension
With your abdominals lifted, extend your legs straight behind you. Keep them together and send energy through your heels.

Your toes are curled under so that some weight is on the balls of your feet.

Without over-tightening, activate your legs (especially your hamstrings) and bring them together, emphasizing the center line. Similarly, activate but do not clench your gleuts (butt muscles) -- think of pulling your sit bones together.

Breathe deeply, allowing the breath to expand into your lower ribs and back.

Hold your position for three to five breaths.

Take a break and repeat up to five times.

Reminders:

  • Your body is in a straight line from the ears, through the shoulders and hips, and to the heels. Do not arch or sag.

  • Keep the abdominals lifted throughout this exercise. You want to engage the muscles of the pelvic floor as well.

  • Put some space between the base of your scull and your neck.

  • If you start to shake, release the pose, breathe, and start again.

    Was that too hard? Try plank Prep, next page.

    Ready for another challenge? Try plank on the ball.
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