Well, if you’ve read any of my blog you probably know how I love Planks! Not necessarily doing them-mostly just making clients do them!! Just kidding…in some sick way I DO like doing them! haha! They are so effective and utilize so many muscles! And there are so many variations-how could we ever get bored with them?
Here are three versions of the plank, a move that works the lower back, chest, and shoulders in addition to the rectus abdominis (your abs).
Start in a push-up position and keep your hands directly under your shoulders. I like to have people start in a hands and knees position then extend the legs straight behind. This keeps your butt down-think "straight line" from shoulders to heels. You are balancing on the palms of your hands and the balls of your feet. Breathe! Hold this position for as long as you can, or at least count to 30, then sit back over your heels to stretch your back, then repeat a few more times.
If you find it hard to keep your body straight-try this modification. I believe it is better to do a modified version correctly and safely then do a sloppy version of the full. We tend to lose form when we become fatigued!
So in the full plank drop your knees straight down (don’t stick your butt up and don't position your knees below your hips) Then ilft your feet and cross your ankles. This shortens your “lever” making it easier to maintain good form. Use this version til you are ready to do the full plank.
Here’s one of my pet peeves, since you asked :) In my opinion I think the term “modified” can be used in a kind of condescending or negative way-like “since you can’t handle the real stuff”….. But seriously, it’s the smart thing to do to avoid injury! Everyone has different limitations-whether it’s the first time you’ve ever done a plank, or you have chronic back issues, or maybe you just over did it the day before-the plank is always effective when it’s done safely! (This message is brought to you by Safety Sue)
Well, since I’ve blabbered so much today, I am going to save the Plank Twists and Extended Planks for tomorrow. Oh…!! I can just feel your excitement-haha!! Tune in tomorrow for your 8th Christmas gift!!
As always, if anything needs clarity please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org