Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#PLANK

Top: lululemon / Bottoms: lululemon (old) / bracelets: Lily and Laura / Mat: Pure Barre / Home Barre: Made by my wonderful husband :)
Plank is a great total body workout. Besides the obvious core strength you obtain, you also work the tops of the thighs/shoulders, rotator cuffs, chest, and the seat (Pure Barre lingo for the butt).  As a fitness teacher I've learned that proper form in plank can result in minimizing injury, and maximizing the  muscles worked. The common errors in form I see is either pushing the hips up too high or sinking them too low. By pushing the hips up high, you still are engaging the core, but taking all the work out of the seat. You then put the pressure into the upper body and neck that can lead to injury. By having the hips too low you take all the work out of the core, and put all the pressure into the lower back. 

Now lets talk about proper form (note: until you have obtained proper form, I recommend that whether you're doing a workout at home or gym that you plank in front of a mirror). 


Forearms should be shoulder width apart with the elbows underneath the shoulders
Zip up through the core keeping the abdominal wall engaged
Draw the shoulders down your back. Don't let them creep up around the ears
Keeping weight evenly distributed 
Keeping the neck inline with the spine


Once you've locked down the form try adding some additional movements such as: pressing back through the heels, alternating dips of the hips or knees, pressing to a straight arm plank, and tucking of the hips. 

Note: modification is to drop down to the knees, but still keep the core tight like you are wearing a corset. This is a great modification for pregnant women.

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