Core strength and stability are crucial for virtually every movement you execute, whether in the gym or in your everyday life. The plank is a popular bodyweight exercise that builds core strength and stability. This blog will look at the plank, its importance, and the benefits of the plank, execution, and variations.
Importance of the plank
The plank has various benefits for the body. One of the most significant benefits is increased core strength and stability. Weak core muscles can adversely affect the low back and many other areas of the body which can lead to other challenges within the body.
How to execute
The plank is an isometric exercise executed on the forearms and toes. Lie on the floor prone (face down). Position the elbows beneath the body instead of the shoulder (farther back/slightly behind the shoulders). Engage the core muscles and rise into the plank position by protracting the shoulder blades (moving shoulder blades forward). Imagine that you are pushing your chest away from the floor and pushing your elbows into the ground. As you move away from the floor, keep your core engaged as you raise the rest of your body off the floor. Once you are in the position, engage the core and glutes to hold the position. Your pelvis should be slightly tucked to avoid arching in the low back.
As you get accustomed to the movement, you will be able to get into the proper position more quickly to get the most out of the exercise.
Like many exercises, the plank has variations. These variations are seen as progressions of the standard plank.
One popular variation is the side plank. In this variation, the body’s weight is no longer balanced on both forearms and the feet but instead on one forearm and the side of the foot. In this variation, the chest is not facing the floor but rather a wall.
Another variation can be executed by lifting a foot, an arm, or both off the floor to challenge stability further.
One variation that makes it easier is to execute the plank on the hands and feet or place the hands on an elevated surface.
Before you try any variation to increase the difficulty level of the plank, ensure that you can hold the plank in proper form.
The body is in a straight line from head to feet.
Pelvis is slightly tucked.
Glutes, quads, and core are engaged.
Hands are separate (either in fists or with palms on the floor).
The gaze is between the arms.
Give this a try, and let us know how your plank improves!
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