An Exercise You Need to Try: Plank

So, apparently my subconscious is a thief.  There are a few training blogs I read who have been doing “Exercises You Should Be Doing” blogs long before I came around.  I thought I was so smart and original with my clever little title.  Anyway, I’m changing the name of these blogs to “An Exercise You Need To Try”, so I can sleep at night.  (It never really kept me up at night).

It just struck me this morning that even though I’ve done several “Exercises You Should Be Doing” entries, I’ve never done one covering one of the most basic ab exercises that I use with clients.

Planks are what is considered an anti-extension exercise.  This means that when performing them, your body is resisting going into a state of spinal extension (think arching your back an sticking your stomach out).

Even though they are considered a basic movement, planks are often challenging for clients when I first meet with them.  People lack the strength and body control to perform them correctly.

Here’s what they look like:

Here’s how to perform them:

-Start in a prone position (face down) with your toes and elbows being the only things that are touching the ground.  Keep your feet together.

-Make sure that your hips aren’t sagging or sticking up.  You want to create a straight line from your shoulder to your ankle.

-Flex your abs and your butt as tight as you can.

I have clients work up to 2-3 sets of 60 seconds.  Once they can do this, I move them on to a more challenging variation like this or this.  The reason for this is simply because holding this for more than 60 seconds gets pretty boring.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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