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Core Training #2: The Plank

Category : Exercise

There are alot of variations on the plank. This week we are going to introduce the basic elbow plank which you’ve undoubtedly done in the past. The question is, have you been doing it correctly? Last week we introduced abdominal bracing and that is the key to doing a proper plank.

Plank on elbows

Basic Plank on elbows

Start on your belly propped up with your elbows under your shoulders. Do not “sink” into shoulders; instead keep your neck long and shoulder blades pulled down and together. Brace your abdominals and lift your hips so that you are in a “plank” position supported by your elbows and knees. Remember, a plank is straight; so do not allow your back to arch.

Start by just holding the plank on you knees for 5 seconds at a time. Once you can hold a good plank with your knees down, try straightening your legs so you are perching on your toes.

Progression: Increase the amount of time you hold the plank (up to a minute) but never continue holding the plank if you feel discomfort in your low back or can not maintain a neutral spine. Also, there are lots of variations on the basic plank which we’ll cover next week!