Feb 13, 2013

Workout Wednesday: The Plank

This week I introduce the Plank:

Strengthening: The plank is the best workout to strengthen your midsection, upper body and lower body muscles all at the same. Most importantly, they strengthen the inner core muscles that support your joints. There are many muscles that are triggered when in this holding position which helps tone and strengthen the overall body.

Flexibility: The plank helps increase flexibility in your shoulders as they expand and stretch as well as your collarbone and shoulder blades. Your hamstrings are also stretched as you press the front of your thighs upwards to lengthen your legs as much as possible. Also, the arches of your feet get a good stretch as your toes are extended to support your weight.

Aesthetic: The plank activates your core muscles which will enhance your appearance by improving your posture.

How to do a plank:
-Face down on the floor resting on your forearms and knees.
-Push off the floor, raising up off your knees onto your toes and resting mainly on your elbows.
-Contract your abs to keep yourself up and PREVENT your butt from sticking up.
-Keep your back flat- don't drop. Make sure your body is like a straight board.
-Hold as long as you can. For beginners, 20-30 seconds, repeat 3 times and for more advanced, 1-2 minutes, repeat 3 times. 


If this is too difficult, beginners can drop to the knees like below:


There are many variations to the plank like side planks, crunch planks, jumping jack planks, etc. I'll hopefully get into those in a different week. For now, go ahead and perfect the plank, let me know what you think!


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