The Side Plank

The Side Plank is an unusual yoga-with-weights exercise in that you work only one side of your body at a time, which presents new challenges for balancing. The exercise opens up your shoulder girdle and strengthens your trunk, shoulders, hips, and pelvis. Much like the Dog to Plank — the previous exercise in this workout — the Side Plank can be a grueling exercise. But like the Dog to Plank, it offers enormous benefits for your mind and body.

You need both ankle weights and one hand weight for this exercise. When you're ready, follow these steps:

Figure 10-3:

The Dog to Plank is tough, but it gives you a good upper-body workout.

1. Sit on your right hip, and cross your left foot over your right leg, placing your left heel next to your right thigh.

Hold the hand weight in your left hand, with your palm facing your body.

2. Straighten your right arm, pressing onto your right hand as you lift your hip from the floor (see Figure 10-4a).

This is the starting position. Press into the foot of your left leg as you lift to help with the burden. The hand weight should be dangling off the ground, and you should be looking at the ground. Your whole body — your shoulder and both legs, as well as your abdominal muscles — supports you here.

3. As you inhale to a count of four, pull the hand weight above your shoulder as you bend your elbow, drawing your left shoulder blade back and squeezing your shoulder blades together (see Figure 10-4b).

Make sure your wrist is above your shoulder. Rotate your gaze with the weight as you open up your trunk.

4. As you exhale to a count of four, lower the weight to the starting position (see Figure 10-4a).

Let the weight guide your arm to the floor; don't throw it down. Follow the weight with your eyes, and stay in tune with your breathing.

Figure 10-4:

The Side Plank makes you solid as a board from head to toe.

Figure 10-4:

The Side Plank makes you solid as a board from head to toe.

Part III: Refining Your Technique

\ If you have trouble with this exercise, do it without the hand weight. You can also support your body with your elbow and forearm rather than your hand.

Do this exercise four to eight times with each arm, pause to rest, and then do another four to eight repetitions with each arm.

0 0

Post a comment