Improve Your Plank

The plank is a very popular exercise through classes and the gym and can be modified in many ways to make harder/easier.

But do you have the basic plank technique?

The plank should actually be a very hard exercise to do once done correctly. It challenges the core, shoulders and back to stabilise the body. Body alignment is one factor that is important when it comes to performing the plank, and if you haven’t got this as a starting point then you most likely won’t feel the muscles working that you need to.

Below is an image of incorrect plank technique. As you can see the hips are raised, the weight placement is in the upper body instead on dropping the hips and activating the core and keeping the weight distributed throughout the shoulders, hips and toes.

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A simple adjustment can be made to correct this position by thinking of

  1. Shoulders should be in line with the elbows (on top of)

  2. keep a long line through the body, brace the core and drop the hips without curving the lower spine

  3. rock the weight forward into the toes, keep the weight distribution into the upper body as much as you can

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The plank can be modified to make easier just by simply dropping the knees onto the floor which takes a little weight off the upper body.

If you feel like you struggle with the plank there are lots of other core exercises that you can perform to improve, and build on that core strength.

Below is a video showing three simple exercises which you can do to help build on that core stability and make those planks feel a lot easier!

  1. Birddog - Really great exercise to test shoulder stability, improve core/hip stability.

  2. Deadbug- One to really help think about keeping the spine long and core activated by thinking of each vertebrae pressing into the ground as you perform the exercise.

  3. Pall of press- Great exercise to increase core/hip/shoulder stability and can be progressed by increasing the weight

Why not come along to the gym, try Pilates or Yoga which is a really great way to build that overall strength and stability. Enhance your experience here at PNF and improve and build each and everyday.