Planks are a
great abdominal exercise
if done correctly. They target more of the lower abdominals and the
stabilizing muscles of the trunk than a traditional abdominal crunch. I
use this exercise with my patients all the time as part of an ab
training program and their sports injury rehab.
is the Key
only way to get this exercise to effectively work the core is to make
sure that your alignment is perfect. You should try this exercise in
front of a mirror or with a partner to start off until you get your
position perfect. You will know if you are doing it right, because you
will feel it in your abs.
For perfect alignment, you should
make sure you create a straight line from your shoulders to your heels,
especially through your trunk.
you sag your hips, you will feel this in your low back. And if your
hips are too high, you will feel your shoulders working more than your
Once you get into position, hold for 15-20
seconds or until you feel your abdominals starting to burn. Relax, and
elbow position, as shown above, is the basic exercise. There are lots
of variations you can do. One simple one is to move from your elbows to
your hands...this is a push up position, but instead of doing a push
up, you simply hold the position.
You can also add movement. This will challenge your abs
even more, and improve your core stability.
this position on your hands, draw in your abdominals and then lift your
right hand to touch your left shoulder. Try not to let your body move
or sway. Return to the starting position and then reach your left hand
to your right shoulder. Return and repeat. Practice in front of a
mirror to monitor your alignment and make sure you don't sway back and
planks are a great core exercise. Make sure that you keep your
alignment throughout the exercise. As the elbow plank becomes easier,
increase your holding time, or move to the more difficult shoulder tap.
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