I Brake for Planks

16 Jun
Plank-tastic!

Plank-tastic!

My absolute favorite core exercise is the plank. It’s the duct tape of exercise: versatile (side, front, knees, toes, hip extension, arm extension, rotary, hip abduction and the list goes on), functional (no core strength = pain and injury) and suitable for almost all fitness levels (Olympic athletes to office workers with herniated discs to grandparents with stenosis). Pretty sure MacGyver had core strength AND duct tape.

 

Now let’s break this mutha down into proper form so you receive the most benefits. After all, knowing how to stabilize your core is fundamental for all movement.

 

1. Lying on your stomach, place your elbows underneath your shoulders and forearms on the ground. Your arms will be within the frame of your body. Keep shoulders wide rather than sinking into them and avoid clasping your hands together.

2. Draw your belly button towards your spine (innie or outie–ain’t no thang) and squeeze your butt, slightly tucking your tailbone and lifting your hips in alignment with your shoulders. Toes will be tucked underneath you.

3. Shift your weight back into your heels and reach long through the crown of your head. Your body will be one strong, straight line, like a battering ram (see picture). Breathe and hold this position for 15-60 seconds. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat.

 

Of course, you will only perform this exercise if you have been cleared to exercise by your physician. If you feel pain at any time, stop the exercise immediately and consult a certified personal trainer –like me!–to check form and help you modify the exercise to meet your specific needs.

 

 

 

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