Plank Your Way To A Strong Core
One of my favorite exercises to condition the core is a plank.
- You can plank anywhere. Plank at the gym, at home, at work, on vacation, in your hotel room, outside…you can do it anywhere!
- Anyone can do it. If you’re just getting started, you can plank from your knees and make the exercise easier to perform. If you’re more advanced, there are multiple progressions. The options to make a plank more challenging are endless so as you get more fit, you can continue to progress and incorporate new variations.
- No equipment required. All you need is your body!
- No chance of getting bored. There are so many variations that you can do a different plank format every time and incorporate a lot of variety into your core conditioning program.
- Planking trains stabilization. While planking, you’re strengthening your body’s ability to stabilize and brace the spine. As your core becomes stronger, that strength will radiate out to your extremities and you will be better able to stabilize and align your body, absorb and brace for any impact and move your body more efficiently and with better mechanics.
- Planking strengthens your whole body. While planking your will strengthen your abdominals, back, shoulders and hips. It’s a full body exercise.
Here’s how to plank correctly and some fun variations.
Lie on your stomach. Position your elbows under your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles and then slowly lift your body onto your toes and your elbows. Keep your back straight and elongated. Strive for a straight line from the top of your head to toes. Remember to breathe.
- Week One – Plank for 5 seconds x 12 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
- Week Two – Plank for 15 seconds x 4 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
- Week Three – Plank for 30 seconds x 2 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
- Week Four – Plank for 60 seconds – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
Here’s Some Plank Variations:
You can also plank from hands and toes instead of elbows and toes.
Hip Drop Planks
While holding the plank position, slowly allow your hips to drop and rotate side to side for goal time.
Knee to Elbow Planks
While holding the plank position, slowly draw one knee towards opposite elbow. Alternate and continue for goal time.
Leg Lift Planks
While holding the plank position, slowly lift one foot off the ground. Alternate and continue for goal time. You can advance, by lifting the foot, pressing it laterally and then dropping it back to the starting position.
While holding the plank position from hands and toes, slowly lift one hand reach forward, overhead and all the way around to the starting position. Alternate and continue for goal time.
Stability Ball Planks
Place your feet on top of a stability ball while planking for a tough challenge.
Lie on your side while propping yourself up on one elbow with elbow positioned right under your shoulder. Keep your body straight and aligned. Slowly lift your hips off the floor so that your body weight is now supported on your elbow and your knees (less advanced) or your toes (more advanced).
Yours in health, fitness& business,
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