Be Planked.


Striving for that flat stomach look? Silly question, I know. Aren’t we all looking for those flat abs? Try adding planks to your abs routine to help strengthen and tighten your core. Planks work on the principles of isometric contraction meaning the muscle stays the same length while you are doing the exercise, strengthening not only the deep abdominal muscles, but also the back muscles.

How to do the exercise:

  1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
  2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Make sure your elbows stay lined up underneath your shoulders.
  3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or your back from sagging in the middle.

Trainer tips:

  • Think about sucking your belly button through to your spine
  • Keep you back in a straight line
  • Hold the position as long as you can and build up your tolerance over time
  • If you are unable to hold this position initially, start in a modified position, resting on your knees and elbows
  • You can also try alternating side planks to incorporate your obliques
  • Don’t forget to breathe!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki

 

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Fitness

4 responses to “Be Planked.

  1. Jayne

    I hate doing planks! But they work 🙂
    My trainer adds them into every workout, I can really tell the difference, and I can hold it longer too!
    If you’re not doing planks, you’re missing out.

  2. Lauren

    What is the best amount of time to hold a plank for?

    • Great question Lauren. It really depends on your level of core strength starting out. Try to hold the position as long as you can without sacrificing form. If you feel your hips arching up or your back sagging, you’ve probably hit your limit.
      Let’s say initially you can hold a plank for 30 seconds with perfect form. Incorporate 3 sets of 30 second planks into your current workout. In a few weeks, try increasing your time to 40 seconds.
      Remember this is a challenging exercise and you are going to have to push yourself to hold yourself up as long as possible. I promise the results will be worth it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s