Personal Health and Fitness

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Core Exercises - Plank

Video 31 of 71
2 min 44 sec
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Plank is a muscular endurance body weighted position. Because what happens is, over time, the tension in the abdominal wall will increase. As it increases, the tension will get more and more and more, to the point where the body fails. Now, muscular endurance is very important when it comes to performance. So stuff like the plank, okay, is a great way to keep tension on the core, without going through the flexion and extension, okay. It's all about keeping tension over a long period of time.

Now, the important position of the plank is your elbows are tucked in tight to body, your eye line is neutral to your neck. So therefore you are looking at the ground and not looking forwards. Your feet are behind your body in a nice line of travel from the back of the neck all the way to the ankle, alright. And we want to make sure it's a straight line and we are not bowing, so we are putting tension on our lower back. So a good way to do that, to engage in the core, is to squeeze your glutes together. And that will give a nice strong position in the center of the body, so you have got a nice line of travel all the way down, and we are not putting pressure on our lower back. If you want to make it harder, you can lift your right leg off the floor and just perform it with one foot. If you want to make it easier, you can basically bring your feet nice and wide. So you have got a nice strong position from behind the body, to make sure that it's nice and easy on the body and the tension's not too much. Put yourself in a position that makes it either easier or harder, your call.

When it comes to timings for a body weighted position like the plank, what I would recommend is aiming for 60 seconds. Time it in that position, okay. So relax the neck, if you need to have a timer by you set, then do so. Put yourself in a position, get nice and strong, pull yourself in nice and tight. If you have got tension anywhere, ask yourself, "Why?" Is your lower back hurting because your glutes are too low and your hyper-extended in your lower back? If you are, raise your glutes and bring in that nice line of travel all the way from the back of the neck, all the way down to the heel. After 60 seconds, we then can progress into one minute thirty, two minutes. We can bring in weights, okay, as well. So if you want to load the shoulder with weight so we have got more tension on your core, then that's also an advanced move you can do in the future. But first of all, aim for about 60 seconds of time in that position. But maintain the form throughout the time. The minute you drop the form, you are then starting to fail at the exercise.