Jennifer: How do I plank without putting too much pressure on my wrists?
Laura, Mind the Mat: Plank is less about the arms and more about building core strength, when done properly, but it’s easy to dump the weight into the wrists and elbows – and I see that a lot in class. Instead of locking out your elbows and letting your shoulder blades and hips collapse, here are some tips to strengthen up your plank.
Start out in table top position – wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. From the beginning, start to engage your core by tucking your tailbone slightly to draw the abdominals to the spine. Also, press up into your shoulders so that you feel like your back is doming and the shoulder blades are pulling away from each other. Bring the inside (smooth side) of the elbows forward and bend them slightly, and place the weight into the pinkie sides of your hands like your trying to tear the mat in two. Once you have this solid foundation, step your feet back into your plank but make sure to maintain that slight tuck and the dome in your back, as well as the slight bend in the elbows. Keep pressing up into the shoulders and drawing the belly in. Holding your plank like this ensures that you’re engaging your core muscles to lift instead of putting the weight on the wrists.