The act of slowly lowering your body from plank pose to the floor is amazing for building strength. It tones your legs, core, shoulders, and arms all at once—that's a lot of bang for your buck. But when done incorrectly, lower back pain and shoulder injuries arise very quickly.
"Fortunately, both can be corrected by proper alignment and moderation," yogi Sara Quiriconi tells mbg. "I see many students, especially in group settings, dipping their shoulders too low forward. A droopy lower back is common (banana back, as I like to call it), or I see them locking their shoulders when lowering to a low pushup, which ends up tightening the neck muscles and can lead to rotator cuff issues over time."
"In general, many people often have funky shoulders to begin with, so if you're not practicing this posture with proper alignment, it can quickly exacerbate any shoulder problems you might have to begin with," Sky Ting Yoga's Chloe Kernaghan adds. "The tricky thing is, it's an injury that happens over a longer period of time—so oftentimes seasoned practitioners have these injuries from years of improper alignment."