Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Do you plank properly?

Many of you have done a plank before, there are many different types of planks and modifications that can be made for any person/any injury. It is THE BEST core exercise bar none. The plank works your internal transverse muscle which is the deep core muscle that supports your spine and holds your tummy in tight & flat. So many people get so frustrated when they do hundreds of crunches, leg raises, cross-overs, ect but still have a tummy that doesn't hold in tight. Those exercises work the superficial (outer layer) of abdominal muscles, you need to hit the deep ones in order to have a strong & tight core.
A front plank is when you are on your forearms and toes or knees depending on your core strength, holding your body off the floor in a straight line. It is just a hold, so some people don't think its as effective because they don't feel "the burn" like you can get from crunches. If a plank is done properly though, you will feel the "shakes", your whole core will start to quiver because you are asking it to hold your body weight in a static contraction for a long period of time.
The #1 key part of the plank is holding the pelvic tilt, if you do not tuck your tailbone under and keep it there your lower back will ache and you will not gain the benefits in your abdominals. I have had SO MANY clients tell me they can't plank because it just their back, so usually I ask them to show me how they do it, one quick change in there hip position and the back pain/ache is GONE! I even have a client that has had back surgery because she popped a disc and when we adjusted her so she was in a proper pelvic tilt, no pain at all!
So make sure you relax your upper back & neck and keep your tailbone tucked under (pelvic tilt) and you will fire those lower ab and deep core muscles like nothing else.

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