by Karina Braun

How Strong is Your Core?, MASSAGE MagazineMassage therapists need a strong core to stabilize the body and deliver each stroke. Try plank pose to test the strength of your core. Can you hold this pose for a minute? Try it now. If you can’t hold for a full minute, start with 15 seconds and then 30 seconds. Next, hold plank pose for a full 60 seconds.

How to perform plank pose

  • Start on your knees, and walk your hands out in front of you as you stretch your legs out behind you.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders, as you spiral your outer arms inward and firm and elongate your fingers on the floor.
  • Elongate your spine and pull your navel toward your spine.
  • Slide your shoulder blades down the back and broaden the collarbones.
  • Keep your neck long and in line with the spine.
  • Breathe and hold up to 60 seconds.

Forearm plank modification

Plank pose can be strenuous for the wrists of massage therapists. Try this modification to take stress off of the wrist.

  • Place your forearms, parallel to each other, on the floor. Interlace your fingers and make a fist. Your shoulders should be over your elbows.

Benefits of plank pose

  • Strengthens the arms
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Tones the abdominal muscles

Karina Braun, MASSAGE MagazineKarina Braun wrote the innovative book, Creating Peace with Your Hands, which includes insightful strategies for self-care and injury prevention. For more information, visit