Reverse plank is quite often very uncomfortable for the backs of the legs. I'd suggest that one reason for this is that the knees aren't stabilized, instead they are kept straight by virtue of the position. There is generally no instruction given to stabilize the knee or to deliberately activate the hamstrings and/or the glutes.
My own preference currently is to activate both the hamstrings and the glutes prior to lifting up into reverse plank.
Often I'll have students engage quads first, then engage hamstrings and buttocks. Then the idea is to keep the hams and glutes engaged while lifting up.
Rather than lifting up as high as possible straight off the bat, I'll often suggest to just lift slightly and get used to keeping the hams and glutes active. As long as the arms and feet are bearing the weight of your body and your butt and legs are clear of the floor then you are doing reverse plank.
As you can see I can't touch the fronts of my feet into the floor for this pose.
I'm not too worried about it though. I don't think that touching the front of the feet to the floor changes the pose that much, not unless the fronts of the feet press down into the floor with enough pressure to actually lift the heels (or at least cause the heels to be lighter on the floor.) But if you are interested in touching your feet to the floor I'd suggest the smartest route would be to focus on lifting the hips higher.
What I do like to play with is flexing the feet and pointing them. With the feet pointed then not only are the glutes and hams activated but the calves as well so that most of the back line of the legs is active.
Another set of actions that I do is to bend the spine backwards and activate the shoulders prior to lifting.
With hips still on the floor I first to use the shoulders to push the chest forwards. Then I bend the lumbar and thoracic spine backwards and at the same time open and expand the front of the ribcage.
This then lengthens the distance at the back of the hips making it easier to contract the buttocks. Then I activate buttocks and hamstrings and then I lift.
An exercise for improving shoulder awareness while in reverse plank is to relax the shoulders so that the ribcage sinks down (you can also bend the spine forwards) and then reactivate the shoulders to lift the ribcage up.
As mentioned I might start students of with lifting only a short distance. Then on succesive lifts the hips can be pushed gradually higher. Moving slowly up into the pose it can be easier to find the final position with less effort as opposed to just pushing up as fast and as high as possible.
Here I should note that another technique that can make this pose feel easier prior to lifting up is to push the hands forwards so that the shoulders pull back.
I think this action naturally cause the backs of the legs to activate, as if to resist the forwards push of the hands by pulling the feet rearwards.
Other variations of this pose include doing it with feet wider and or with feet turned outwards or inwards.
Indeed this was how I first used to do the pose to make it less uncomfortable while at the same time getting comfortable with internal and external hip rotation and exercising the outer and inner thighs. After these versions, then I'd do regular reverse plank with feet together, and knees pointing upwards.
To make reverse plank easier, try engaging hamstrings and glutes prior to lifting.
Another action is to try and make the knee "strong" or "stable."
Or friction the hands forwards (towards the feet) so that the shoulders pull rearwards (away from the feet.)
If you have trouble with activating your hamstrings and glutes, the Basic Muscle Control Quads, Hip Flexors, Hamstrings and Gluteus Maximus video includes simple stand alone exercises for learning to feel and control these muscles.
For more ways that you can use friction when doing yoga poses, the Frictional Arm and Leg Strength video and PDF includes a sequence of yoga poses with a focus on using both friction and pressure to make yoga poses easier.
Learn how to use Friction to improve leg and arm strength.
Simple exercises with easy to follow instructions
Making difficult poses like Chaturanga Dandasana easier to learn.
Learn Your Body with
Frictional Arm and Leg Strength
PDF or Video
Improve Strength, Flexiblity, Body Awareness. Muscle control is at the heart of all of these.
You can practice scapular control with the arm movements of the dance of shiva. Scapular stabilization and control can be important when trying to bind in yoga poses like Marichyasana A.
Lifting up into eka pada bakasana from marichyasana A with tips on lifting up and balancing while transitioning from the binding yoga pose to the arm balance.
How to grab your hand behind your back. Tips for binding in Marichyasana A.
Grabbing a wrist behind your back. Tips for Binding in Marichyasana C.
Modified Marichyasana B is done with the other leg not in lotus. This pose can still be challenging to bind it, so some tips on how to bind with awareness.
Steps for working towards bound side angle so that you can bind a little more easily.
Steps for Binding in Seated Half Bound Lotus Pose as well as modifications if you can't bind, and actions you can do when you do bind.
Tips for working towards binding in Bound Twisting Side Angle Pose.
Balancing in side plank can be made easier to learn if you learn the necessary actions step-by-step with this sensational yoga poses yoga tutorial.
The standing forward bend yoga pose can be used to stretch or strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. It can also be used to stretch and strengthen the calves and as a balance exercise.
Yoga forward bends includes forwards bends for the hips and spine. Forward bends for the hips include both bent and straight straight positions.
Your iphone needs power in order to sense your touch. Proprioception needs muscle activity in order to sense your body.
Some simple exercises so that you can work towards the pistol squat gradually.
Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.
This sequence of seated yoga poses includes lotus and virasana variations, janu sirsasana and marichyasana variations as well as more basic seated poses like bound angle, pigeon and seated forward bend.
These hip flexor stretches open up the fronts of the hips and can be used as a preparation for front to back splits. Bent knee hip stretches can be used to focus on rectus fermoris.
Strengthen your hands, your arms, glutes and hamstrings with these standing forward bend variations.
The small actions in this standing psoas stretch can be used to stretch both the upper and lower fibers of the psoas muscle.
Variations of the standing psoas stretch that use the same basic actions.