Sometimes plank doesn’t feel right, a stretch makes you feel worse than better, and which variation you need to take is unclear. Here are some clarifications of the most common weird pains and questions so you can feel more confident in getting the most out of your workout.
Q: It seems like there are a trillion different ways to do down dog. Which is the correct one?
A: Yes there are a trillion ways and all of them are amazing and should feel brilliant. Some tips for when you're in down dog: Distribute your weight inwards between thumb and index fingers. Head should feel heavy and relaxed with no stress in your neck. If your heels do not reach the floor take a small bend in the knees - tail tucked and ribs in. Try to create a sensation of a flat back while pulling in your core.
Q: My feet hurt during spin class. Is this normal?
A: Your shoes probably need an adjustment. Try tweaking them so that your feet turn slightly in and see if that helps. Remember to push and pull through your thighs and not solely through your feet or ankles.
Q: Is it normal to get weird lower back pain when doing plank? Is that a good burn or a bad burn?
A: Bad, bad, bad burn! No way should your back ever feel stress or take any pain during plank. Listen to your back, work your core and find the right balance between the two. Some steps to keep in mind for a successful plank: start on your knees. Tuck that tail. Pull in your ribs. Roll your shoulders back. Lift your head gazing forward for a neutral neck.
Q: Do I have to follow the breathing instructions the instructor suggests? If I'm not exhaling while bending down and am instead inhaling am I screwing up my flow?
A: Blood flow is an important part of exercise so why make it harder for your body do collect fresh oxygen. When you work within the movements; inhaling when your body is opening and exhaling when you are folding, you are only helping your body get the maximum results from your workout!