Emma Obayuvana doing a downward dog to plank

Move of the week: stretch out tight hamstrings with a downward dog to plank

Posted by for Workouts

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: downward dog plank

Downward dog is one of the most recognisable yoga moves, and is often included in a dynamic warm-up routine. But if you want to take it up a notch, try the downward dog to plank. The extra activation of the core in your plank hold is perfect for prepping your body for exercise, while the stretch in your posterior chain will get your muscles ready to squat, deadlift or run. 

What is a downward dog plank?

The downward dog plank requires you to start in a plank position and lift yourself into the traditional downward dog pose.

This exercise is great because:

You don’t need equipment: you can stretch and strengthen using just your body weight.

It’s the perfect warm-up: activating the core before training can help improve your form and reduce injury.

It’s a full-body move: the downward dog plank works loads of the muscles in your body.

What muscles does a downward dog plank work?

The downward dog plank works multiple muscles in the body but primarily:

  • Shoulders
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals
  • Back
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

How to do downward dog plank?

  1.  Come on to your mat in an all fours position on your hands and knees. Make sure hands and knees are width apart.
  2. Kick your legs back into a high plank position with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and your abs drawn into your spine.
  3. Press your hips up and back to the ceiling to come into downward dog pose. Hold at the top for a few seconds.
  4. Push your hips back down and roll your shoulders forward to lower yourself back into plank position.
  5. Repeat.

Images: Stylist

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