The Mighty Plank

The Plank and All Its Glory.

If you are looking for improved posture, a stronger core (every muscle from the bottom of the ribs to the pelvis), stronger butt, and want to get ripped in 15 days–maybe you should try an infomercial. If you want to get real, long term results, you can’t go wrong with the plank.

The plank’s main focus should be to improve posture and must be executed to accomplish this–through great form and awareness of our body. In the pictures above, my body is in a straight line as if I were standing up straight. You can achieve this at home by actively squeezing your glutes, abdominals, and making sure to keep your hips in line with the rest of your body. Also as to avoid injuring yourselves, keep your elbows under your shoulders and not let our upper body be hanging freely, so push through the floor and keep your chest in a good position.

Form Checklist:

• Elbows under your shoulders
• Actively squeezing your glutes
• Squeezing your abdominals
• Hips in line with body
• Pushing through the floor to keep your chest neutral
• Last, keep your entire spine straight

To begin with I will take a new client through an elevated plank and progress them through lower angles until they are able to reach the floor–doing this exercise for 20 seconds at a time. So I like doing high planks on a bench first, then lowering them until clients are comfortable performing a high plank on the floor. Then after the high has become too easy for them, we will progress to the regular plank. What I recommend for this exercise is to make sure you keep a solid form for the duration of the exercise. Never will a client of mine perform a plank from their knees, I’d rather they keep a straight line throughout the whole body so performing a plank is a skill transferable to daily living. I like to have my clients reach a maximum of 4 sets planks,  60 seconds each, with solid form; and if they lose form we stop the exercise and try again later. Once they are able to accomplish this maximum we advance to other core exercises.

If you have any questions or problems, ask them in the comment section. If you need more help you can contact me through e-mail.
-Mark

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