The power of the pits! Did you know your armpits are linked to core strength? It’s fair to say that every physical movement creates a reaction elsewhere…
Half-planks are a great way to build core strength, but if you find you get the shakes in your arm, it could be that you are holding tension in the wrong places and giving into to gravity – ie, sinking into the floor and potentially injuring your balancing shoulder/hand/wrist. The sides of your trunk are naturally firm in this position so you don’t need to tense anything. This way, you can still breathe diaphragmatically (impossible with a tight belly) and you won’t end up in fight or flight, drained of energy. It’s also a fact that when you tense and tighten consciously in balances like this, it’s much harder on your hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.
It’s also possible to create more power by grabbing your mat like Spiderman/woman with the hand of your weight-bearing arm and then imagining that you are trying to lift away from the floor while squeezing your armpit forward – essentially as if you are trying to rotate the pec towards the ceiling.
From here, it’s imperative to distribute your weight evenly between the balancing hand and the foot by lifting the side ribs up towards the ceiling and away from the floor and pushing your body weight back into the foot. When your weight is evenly distributed, your body feels light and you don’t shake, collapse or risk potentially damaging your hands or wrists.
PS: Grabbing the top leg like this is obviously a bit harder and takes a bit more practise 💜🙏✌️🕉