Hello my friends, short and sweet today as I’m in the midst of finishing up final assignments, studying for exams and attempting to squeeze in writing maayyybbee something I can call a coverletter of sorts for my masters/internship applications.
But the fitness-ing must go on!
And by go on I mean, read this post then drop the floor and try these lil numbers out.
I dare ya 😉
So we all know the many benefits of the good ol’ plank, but did you know of it’s children? Oh yes, the plank is now longer alone, its got some newer versions and they are quite the upgrade if you are ready for them.
Lets take a peek shall we.
You have the basic plank…
~Squeeze EVERYTHING. Glutes, quads and core should be all nice and tight.
~Focus on pulling that navel back towards the spine
~Roll the shoulders back. Even in this picture, the ‘model’ has hers coming a bit past her elbows. Avoid this, they should be in line with the elbows
~Your back should be straight, enough so that you can put something on it and it won’t fall off.
~Do not crane your neck up, keep it looking at the floor to keep your spine neutral
~Hips should not be sagging and your butt should not be pointed in the air. Again, keep hips parallel with the floor.
Now you can be a lil fancier even with this basic movement by having one foot off the ground and hovering the leg (did your position change? if the hips dropped, you’re not ready for this yet.) More? Throw your opposite arm out in front of you, parallel with the floor as well. Again, only if proper form is maintained.
Now what about the plank upgrades?
How about the Body Saw?
This one is said to be an ‘anti-extension’ core movement where the dynamic movement (shifting your body forward and backward) places greater tension on your core to maintain your proper position. You don’t need the sliders as shown in the video, even the small rocking you can do with your elbows and toes is enough for a great burn!
Or what about the RKC plank?
This lil number comes from the Russian Kettlebell Challenge and is simply a few lil shifts in your positioning BUT those few little shifts do a lot of damage!
I feel like Brett Contreras (glute masstta!) really spoke about it well so here is his thoughts and description:
Basically, he had me get into my normal plank position and then made adjustments. First, he had me place my elbows slightly further out in front of me and closer together to increase the lever arm length and reduce the width of the base of support. He then had me forcefully lock out my knees by contracting my quads.
Finally, he had me contract my glutes as hard as possible to the point where my pelvis posteriorly rotated [rotated backwards]. These adjustments left me quivering like a school girl. I highly recommend experimenting with this new variation as it blows away the core activation of a normal plank. (In fact, I suggest you stop reading right now, drop down to the floor, and try it for yourself.) Chalk up another one for the kettlebellers!
So there you have it! Go right now and try one of these babies out if you have ever said planks are a cake walk. I promise, you will be eating your words.
What’s your favourite type of plank variation?