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Building Superior Shoulders

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— September 15, 2018

Building Superior Shoulders

  • What do you get when the dolphin pose meets the plank pose?
pocket

Pose: Dolphin Plank

Why You Should Do It: What do you get when Dolphin Pose meets Plank Pose? You wind up with the Dolphin Plank, a great way to get your shoulders ready for anything from throwing axes with your friends to humping boxes into a new apartment. In addition, this pose is excellent for:

  • Stretching the hamstrings and calves.
  • Improving posture by strengthening muscles around the spine.
  • Building a strong core.
  • Relieving stress.
  • Increasing bone density.


How to Do It: You can start in Dolphin and then walk your feet back until your
torso is parallel to the floor, shoulders right over your elbows. Or you can start on hands and knees, wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.

From there:

  • Lower your elbows to the floor, keeping them under your shoulders; forearms and upper arms should create a 90° angle. Your forearms should be parallel to each other with your weight distributed equally between them.
  •  Step back, keeping your body and head in a straight line. Keep your thighs lifted, and don’t let your hips sink or your bottom stick up.
  • Pull your abs and pelvic floor muscles towards your spine. Widen your shoulder blades east-west; lengthen your spine north-south.
  • While gazing between your hands or at the front edge of your mat, breathe evenly for five breaths. Then lower onto your knees and press back into Child’s Pose.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Note: If touchy wrists make it difficult for you to do Plank, this wrist-friendly version might work for you.

Variations: If you can’t yet support your full weight on your arms, lower your knees to the ground; you might have to walk the knees back a bit to keep your body in a straight line, shoulders above elbows. If you need more of a challenge, switch between Dolphin Plank and full Dolphin 10 times.

 

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