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BCRPA Weight Trainer * BCRPA Group Fitness Leader * BCRPA Personal Trainer * Cory Holly Institute Principles of Sports Nutrition Education Program * Body Training System Group Power Instructor *Body Training System Group Centergy Instructor * CORE Conditioning Instructor * TKO Fitness Instructor * Boot Camp Leader

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Training Tuesday - Happy Planking!

Want to know one of my most favorite exercises that I use on clients that combine functionality and full body strength?

I will call it The Plank. But it has also been referred to as the hover.

Most commonly used as a core exercise, The Plank goes beyond just your stomach muscles.
Hovering on such small platforms (your limbs), balance comes into play, forcing the stabilizing muscles to hold the body in place.
Upper body strength is key while you focus on placing a majority of the weight above the waistline and keeping the proper alignment of shoulder to elbow joint.
Lower body doesn’t rest either as the thigh muscles are contracted to keep the legs straight behind you and the hips neutral.

There is A LOT going on with just one exercise!

Just a few variations out there:

Elbow Plank/Hover

High Push-up Plank/Hover

(Modified version with knees down)

Side Plank

Key things to remember:
Proper alignment of shoulder to elbow (to wrist) joint.
Keep shoulders relaxed, and away from the ears.
Pull core muscles (bellybutton) in towards the spine to keep muscles contracted and away from pooching.
Neutral hips (parallel to the floor).
Contract leg muscles.

Once you can hold and maintain The Plank for a minimum of 60 seconds, you can start to crank your program up a notch with some different variations like The Plank with Alternate Leg Extensions, Side Plank with Side Crunch, Elbow to Hand Walking Plank…etc. The possibilities are endless!

Until next time Team,
Crank up that Core with Some Plank Exercises!