This is not exactly what I meant. I’m not sure how or why the fad of planking became popular, but I’m glad to no longer see people in a prone position in some random place in my news feed anymore. Although this older man seem to be very proud of himself for being ‘trendy’. 🙂
I am going to start going through different exercises and movements each week to help you all better understand what muscles they work, how to correctly perform them, and the benefits of each exercise. I hope to help expand your exercise library and give you a lot of movements you can perform at your home or in a gym setting.
Today’s movement is a plank. (Not the above planking). I start out most of my workouts for myself and my clients using a plank. It is a great exercise for warming up and recruiting those ab muscles so they will be ready to work the rest of the session. A person at any workout level can perform a plank. There are several variations from beginner to advanced.
Modality: Stability & Strength
*Kneel on floor on all fours. *Align your hands directly beneath shoulders for full plank, or on elbows for beginner plank. *Align your knees directly beneath your hips.
* Lift and extend one leg behind you. *Place the ball of your foot on the floor as in a pushup position. *Maintain neutral spine alignment in semi supported position. * Extend both legs in plank position. * Make sure to keep your shoulder blades down and wide on your back during all phases of this exercise.
To make movement more difficult, you can take pressure off of one point on the ground (one hand held straight out, then one foot, alternating holding each one.)
Another progression of the plank is a side plank. This movement needs to be carefully done as it can put pressure on the shoulder and wrist if obliques aren’t taking most of the work. Start on the knees and elbow, then gradually work up to a side plank on the hand and feet, with one arm in the air. Hold each side for 15 seconds to start and then add 5-10 seconds each time.
Below is an image of an incorrect plank. Back is hollowed so abs are not engaged and spine is not aligned. The head is looking too high which is also causing the spine to not be strait. This puts more strain on the lower back muscles and could potentially cause injury to them. If you find your back is straining more than your abs burning, lift your hips higher. Even if this means you are no longer in a perfectly straight line, it is better to have your hips and glutes slightly higher to help your abs work harder and get stronger.
How long can you hold a plank for?