Thursday, 17 September 2015

Workout Wednesday - Plank It Up

Planks - I know nothing too exciting in the workout world.  Workouts include planks all the time, tons of variations - elbows, knees, reaching out with hands or feet.  Planks are a fantastic whole body exercise.  This summer I was focussing on strengthening my core in preparation for my paddle board workshop and to help my kayaking.  But we all know a strong core helps our bodies function much more effectively through all of our daily activities so it can always use some extra attention.

While I was working my core I found a way to modify my move ever so slightly but I achieved an amazing integration of those deep core muscles that often take a number of reps in order to feel some results.  What was really cool about this slight adjustment to my plank was I felt the work being done immediately and I have notice both increased strength and definition through my core.  And the biggest bonus is that I'm not holding this plank for  more than 30-45 seconds.

So here is how you achieve that deep abdominal engagement?

  1. Come up into a high plank position, on hands and feet.
  2. Bring feet hip width apart, heels pushing back and a micro bend in the knees.
  3. Ensure wrists are below your shoulders, the fingers spread out and elbows slightly bent.
  4. Think about creating space between the shoulder blades, opening the back, using the muscles of the upper back to help support you.
  5. Bring your hips into line with the rest of your body, check in a mirror or have someone spot you.
  6. Here is the engagement part - without moving them, pull your hands toward your feet and your feet toward your hands.  Hold for up to a minute.

Thats it.  If you do that one simple adjustment to your plank it puts a whole new spin on it!

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