Upward Facing Plank is a great counterpose for mountain bikers to open up the chest and strengthen the muscles that support the shoulder blades.
- Opens up the chest.
- Stretches the fronts of the shoulders.
- Strengthens the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, back, abs, hips, glutes, legs, ankles and feet.
- Improves posture.
- Can help to alleviate upper back and shoulder pain.
- Sit on the mat with your legs straight out in front of you, feet together. Position your hands 6-12 inches behind you. Try to point your fingertips forward.
- Externally rotate your shoulders and squeeze your shoulder blades together to open up your chest.
- Lift your hips all the way up and look at the ceiling without letting your head drop back. Keep pressing into your palms and be careful not to let your hips drop.
- Stay in the pose for 5 deep breaths, in and out through your nose. Come down carefully on an exhalation.
- If you find this pose challenging, you can start with the modified version. Your knees should be directly above your ankles, toes point straight ahead.
- You can alter the position of your hands if you need to.
PREP POSE: Hammock
- Press your palms into the mat and squeeze your shoulder blades together to stretch your chest and engage your upper back.
- Avoid the pose if you have a wrist, neck or shoulder injury.
MASTER THE POSE