The Plank is a ‘one-stop’ complete body exercise. It will tone your arms, firm your abs, and strengthen the core muscles of your back. Technique is key, and I often see this one exercise done incorrectly with potential of causing muscle pain and or injury. It is contraindicated for anyone with shoulder injuries. And as with all physical activity, please consult your personal physician with any concerns or questions before beginning any new exercise routine.
If you have a wrist consideration, always perform the Plank with bent elbows and stabilize your upper body on your forearms and lower body on your knees.
- Neutral spine – allow the natural curve of your back to be isolated.
- Bring your belly up and in – don’t let it fall towards the floor.
- Slide your shoulder blades down your back and keep your neck long.
- Your gaze should be towards the floor so that you keep your neck in neutral rather than looking up.
- Bend at the knee and maintain the plank from knee to neck.
- Keep your elbows directly under your shoulders.
- Hold the plank for 15 seconds and add 10-15 seconds until you can maintain a 90 second plank.
NOTE: Form is everything. The goal is not to get to 90-seconds, the goal is to stabilize the body in perfect form.
Once you have mastered the elbow/knee Plank, move to hands and toes. Be sure to keep your form from the heel to the head.
Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
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