Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Exercise: Plank!

The amazing Stickie likes to keep her abdominals strong.  She knows lots of ways to do this, but today has chosen to do a plank.  This is one of the most effective exercises for building core strength.  It has the advantage of requiring no equipment; it also requires no movement!

Stickie likes to begin lying on her belly on the floor with her toes curled under and her hands under her shoulders, allowing her to press up into position.  However, many alternative ways of getting into position are possible and useful.  In the actual position, her shoulders are directly over her hands.  She does not stick her behind up into the air.  She does not let her belly sag down toward the floor.  She keeps her head in line with the rest of her spine, neither dropping it down nor cocking it up.  She holds herself straight and strong from feet to head.  That is all.  She stays as long as she can manage.  Thirty seconds is a good start; with practice, a hold of a minute or more is doable.

This exercise has variations.  If holding the plank position is too challenging, holding a knee plank is a good alternative.  In that case, the body is a straight line from knees to head, as in a modified pushup position.  The plank can also be done against a higher surface, hands on a chair, bench, counter, or wall.  People with wrist issues or whose upper body strength isn’t up for the basic position can rest on elbows instead of hands, but it is important to keep the hands apart because that is cheating!  The elbow position also provides more challenge to the core for many people, so it may enhance the experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment