If you've trained with me or taken just one of my classes it's kinda no surprise: I love myself some good plank exercises. Yes they're hard. Yes they burn... but YES - THEY ARE EFFECTIVE! Legitimately, the plank is one of the most effective core building exercises which targets your rectus abdominus, obliques, lower back and all the stabilizing muscles surrounding these areas. This isometric, or static, exercise essentially forces you to engage your deepest core muscles which, if done correctly, will also strengthen the muscles that guide the spine (even the lower back and glutes!) So what makes THE PERFECT PLANK!?!?! Let's start here:
THE FOREARM PLANK:
The base from where all fancy planks once lived... We start HERE. *Remember - take your time. We want to MASTER exercise and in order to do so, we start at point A and work our way to Z. Be patient and know that EVERYTHING is a process. So with that - start with 3 sets of 15 second holds. Move on to 30 seconds. 60 seconds - you get it. Let's roll:
a. With your weight on your toes & forearms (forearms should be shoulder width apart with your elbows directly under your shoulders,) bring your body off the floor. You should have a straight line from your head all the way to your toes.
b. Keeping your abdominals engaged (it should feel like your belly button is being pulled into your spine,) make sure your back is totally flat. You don't want a dip in your back. If you do - pull that belly button IN. Deeper. DEEPER BRO! DEEPER!
c. Now, check in with your shoulders? Are they pulled down? Make sure the shoulders are being pulled down into your back NOT up by your ears.
HOLD FOR 15 SECONDS. Rest. And again. REST. And again REST.
You cool? Rad - do it for 30 seconds next time...then 60...
Wanna make it harder? Bad ass: try lifting your right leg in the air for 15 seconds. Switch legs!