Exercise of the week: Plank

The plank is a great whole body exercise which specifically targets the core. It is simple, effective and requires no equipment. The plank is also the starting point for a lot of different exercises work the core – meaning no two planks need be the same!

 

Starting Position:

- Start with your hands underneath your shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder width.

- Stretch your legs out behind and dig your toes into the floor

-Should have a straight line from head-toes – be able to balance a pole on your back

 

Movement:

- For a basic plank there is no movement

-Draw your belly button up towards the ceiling

 

Sets/reps:

- Sets depends on the amount of time you can hold for

- More sets if the time is lower

-Aim for 20-30 seconds

 Correct plank form - straight line head-toe. 

Correct plank form - straight line head-toe. 

 Incorrect form - head up, lower back arched.

Incorrect form - head up, lower back arched.

Key technique points:

- Don’t arch your back

- Weight back into your heels

- Squeeze the glutes

 

Progressions:

When you are able to easily complete each variation then move onto the next, however, if you are unable to control the movement then take a step back.

- Add shoulder taps

- Add an uneven surface such as a bosu  

- Combined movement into a side plank

Regressions:

 It is always better to be able to perform an exercise with correct execution at an easier level then poor form at a harder level. Poor technique creates an injury risk – particularly in the lower back for core exercises.

- Weight down onto elbows

- Drop the knees to the floor

- Elevated – hands on a plyo box

 Regression: come down onto elbows

Regression: come down onto elbows

 Regression: Hands on a plyo box 

Regression: Hands on a plyo box