Updated: Apr 12, 2021
THREE HARD TRUTHS WHEN IT COMES TO THE PLANK
When it comes to performing a perfect plank three things have to be considered...
the plank is a full body exercise
you must engage your abdominals
sadly... you may not be ready yet
How often do you think about what your ankles, pelvis, or shoulder blades should be doing? Do you feel your abs engage the whole time? Do you even have the body strength to hold proper form? In this post we will highlight what you should be focusing on throughout the body, tips on how to better connect to your core, and exercises to help improve your body strength to master the plank. By the end you will be thinking differently on how to perform a plank.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BODY DURING A PLANK
The plank is a full body exercise! In this section we will reveal specific cues on how to engage every part of your body for complete focus and stability. When it comes to the plank we can break this focus into two sections...
#1 | Upper Body Cues
crunch the ribcage down; squeeze a ball
press shoulder blades apart; push into ground
pull elbows together & down into ground
#2 | Lower Body Cues
tuck the tailbone down & rotate the pelvis
kick the knees straight & feel thighs engage
kick toes into ground & press body forward
The following video will break these cues down into their individual parts with exercise demonstrations that will highlight the specific body movements.
HOW TO IMPROVE FOCUS & BREAK YOUR PLANK RECORD
It is always easy to tell someone how to do something. It is a little harder to teach them. It is even harder to get them to learn and understand. To fully grasp an exercise like that plank it is important to feel the right muscles working and supporting your body. Without that you will just be going through the motions without receiving the benefit of the exercise.
One of the best cues I have ever heard is "PUSH THE EARTH DOWN." It seems kind of silly when you think about it. Obviously, you can't "push" the earth down, but you can "push" yourself up! Next time you are performing a plank try to think about kicking your feet and pressing your chest and arms down into the ground. Press your body up towards the ceiling but keep your butt down. Feel for your shoulder blades to separate and tension through your ankles and thighs.
Another common question is, "How long should you hold a plank?" When it comes to my clients I always use a philosophy of rules OVER reps. If you are unable to maintain the cues or the proper muscle engagement listed above then you should stop the exercise. Keep the cues in mind, continuously run them through your head, and do you best to hold every cue for as long as possible.
TEN EXERCISES TO PREPARE YOU FOR A PERFECT PLANK
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