Planks – One of the best Core Exercises

Planks are in my view the ultimate core exercise to strengthen not just your abdominal muscles  but also your lower back. However, if performed with poor technique then you may feel discomfort within your lower back which is something you want to avoid. The plank helps develop those deep stomach muscles, if worked correctly it will have an almost corset affect.

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What to look for out for:

* Hollowing of the back
* Neck, spine and legs not in alignment
* Bottom too high
* Hands or elbows not directly under the shoulders
* Belly sagging

How to perform a correct plank.

The best position to start is on all fours. Then place forearms on the floor, palms facing each other (this is level 2 full plank). Elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Tuck your toes under, then straighten your knees and lower the hips. If you view this from the side it should look like your body is straight from head to toe – like a PLANK!. Keep your stomach pulled in throughout the movement and pull your belly button towards your spine with your Pelvic Floor engaged. The aim is to hold for as long as possible with correct form, as soon as your form starts to go then rest.

Full plank too hard?

If you find that the full plank position is too tough then it’s best to take it down to a lower level.  Once you master this level and have improved your strength then you can move up to Level 2.

From a four point position, staying on your knees with arms straight and directly under shoulders. Push the hips forward so that your head, hips and legs are in alignment. The same form as a full plank.

This as I said is great exercise for strengthening the core. This exercise however should  be avoided if you suffer from high blood pressure.

Need Help?

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