Hands up who’s done a plank before?
Probably nearly everyone right?
Whether it’s on the floor or an inanimate object (Usually when you’ve had tipple too many, which you’ll probably upload onto Instagram)
And that’s cool!
You’ve probably seen these guys breaking world records by holding a plank for hours upon hours.
As impressive as that sounds, the thing is…….
For the most part holding a body-weight plank for more than 1-2 minutes is fairly pointless if you actually want to build a strong core.
What tends to happen is
People start arching their lower backs which then leads their stomachs to sag towards the ground.
This takes the focus of the exercise away from the abdominals and lets your lower back do the work, which your lower back is not going to thank you for.
Or people go the other way and raise their bums as high as they can into the sky.
The thing with the plank it’s a great exercise where you create TENSION in your body to maintain the position, with a neutral spine.
This involves squeezing your gut, butt, and quads as HARD as you can.
I want you to get the most band for buck out of this exercise as possible so......
A good way to actually feel this sort of tension is grabbing a resistance band and a partner.
Ladies I recommend you use a purple band (band that’s about an inch thick)
Gents I’d recommend using a slightly thicker one (green one should do it)
- Loop the band just above both your elbows onto your triceps, and your partner does the same.
- Face your partner then both of you assume a straight arm plank (press-up position).
- Then one of you will start moving their feet, along with the rest of their body backwards until you get a good stretch on the band.
By doing this, creates an IMMENSE amount of tension in your core making the exercise a lot more intense and you really get to feel your core working harder to hold the position.
Then I look to start increasing the difficulty of the exercise by incorporating a TRX to make it a little less steady so your core has to work harder.
But what I ultimately like to do is actually get people doing a plank with weight attached to them in some way.
Then doing shorter holds of around 20-40 seconds with a challenging weight but still maintaining good form and full body tension.
Then once you've got your nutrition dialed down, you'll hopefully start seeing the results of your work!
Give it a go, let me know how you got on.