Woman in downward dog while another teaches

Downward Dog to Plank, Double and Single Leg

Workout your shoulders, arms, legs and core all in one!
As long as you can do a downward dog and a full plank* this exercise is an excellent, advanced, time-saving workout. It is also an exercise appropriate for pregnant ladies. Just be certain, if you are pregnant, that you are careful about not pushing your joints too far. As Addie was pregnant when we filmed this, most of our tips in the video are aimed at pregnant ladies. Therefore, here a few reminders for pregnant and non-pregnant readers alike:

  • If going into a full plank, instead of the modified one with your hips slightly high, be certain that your hips do not drop below a the straight diagonal line created by your shoulders and heels.
  • Make sure that, when your are in your plank, your wrists are right under your shoulders.
  • Under no circumstances should you feel this exercise, or any plank, in your back. Pull those abs back toward your spine if you start to feel your back. If that does not solve the problem, stop and try again when you are not tired. If the back pain is a problem every time you do this exercise (or any kind of plank), stop and call a professional to check to your form and make sure full planks really are appropriate for you.
  • If your wrists bother you, spread your fingers and push into the “ball” of your hand instead of the “heel” of your hand. To put it another way, imagine that the part of your hand closest to your fingers is pushing into the floor and away from you and relax the part of your hand that is closest to your wrists.

*If you have a shoulder injury, make sure that these movements are appropriate for you before you begin.

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Addie Kelzer is a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. She believes that by making fitness and good food practical, her clients will hold the power to positively change their health and the health of those closest to them.