This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
YOGA FOR ATHLETES

BUILD CORE STRENGTH
WITH THE PLANK POSE
By Sage Rountree


The offseason is the time to shore up your body, building strength to keep you strong and injury-free come spring and summer. Plank pose is a great way to build core strength and shoulder stability, as well as focus and tenacity.


The pose looks, perhaps deceptively, like the top of a push-up. You’re facedown, weight in the balls of the feet with your hands under the shoulders. But between these two connections to the ground, there’s a lot going on.


You need to hold a long line up the backs of the legs, working to hold them straight — unless you choose to bend the knees and have them support your weight, which is a good modification if the straight-legged pose doesn’t work for you.


Your hips must be high but not too high. If you feel strain in your lower back, the pelvis is too low. If you feel strain in your shoulders, your pelvis may be too high. Find the sweet spot that keeps your hips balanced between your heels and your shoulders, and engage your deep core muscles to hold you steady.


Likewise, you need a stable position for your shoulder blades — not too high, not too low, but just right, in a place where they are engaged on your back. Keep your neck long and look down just in front of your fingers, which face forward.


To vary the challenge, try the pose on your forearms, as though you are in aerobars. Or alternate lifting one leg, then the other, while holding the core steady.


Start with a hold of five breaths or so, building to 10 or more in time. Take a break and repeat for two or three sets. You can include this pose in your strength routine or practice a few rounds after your workouts three times a week or so. With diligent practice, you’ll see progress, and when the season comes, you’ll have a stronger core to hold you steady as you work your way through the water, push the pedals and pass over the road.


Sage Rountree is author of “The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga” and “The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga” and a USAT Level II certified coach. Based in North Carolina, she teaches workshops on yoga for athletes nationwide. Find her schedule and free post-workout yoga videos at sagerountree.com.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124