Forearm plank - Strength from head-to-toe

For so many people, holding plank can be strenuous on the joints in the arms - specifically the wrists.  We have a natural tendency to "collapse" or "dump" all of the weight down into our hands...causing wrist pain!  There are also many people who are dealing with carpel tunnel syndrome, arthritis or have had surgery on their shoulders, wrists, etc. and they need another alternative to do plank pose and still get the amazing full-body work that it offers.  So here is plank done on the forearms.  ***Modification:  Do this with the hands clasped in a fist if this is too aggressive in your wrists***

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  1. Arm alignment --> Stack shoulders on top of the elbows with the elbows in line with the wrists, fingers spread wide.  Press firmly into the thumb and index finger and wrap the triceps in toward each other.

  2. Legs --> Feet should be hip-distance apart.  Firm the thigh muscles up while smoothing the flesh of the bum toward the heels.  Press the heels back.

  3. Torso --> Hug the belly toward the spine and draw the waist in.  Absorb the lower ribs into the body and widen across the collar bones while reaching the heart forward.  

  4. Head --> Keep the gaze forward and reach the crown of the head forward while lengthening the back of the neck.

  5. Breath --> With each INHALE length the entire body and draw the heels and heart away from each other.  EXHALE to draw the navel in and hug the entire circumference of the body to the midline.  

To release, walk the feet in and press the chest toward the thighs to find a Dolphin pose.  Head is off the floor and actively press the forearms down, shoulders lift away from the ears (keep the neck long and relaxed).  Continue wrapping the upper-outer arms in toward the face.  ***Modification:  Clasp hands into a fist if this variation is too aggressive in the wrists***

dolphin 2014.jpg