Plank for Beginners

30 June, 2018

Plank for Beginners

Our plank challenge is for everyone. The real challenge is to begin! Don't be discouraged by other people's posted plank times, this is a personal challenge to improve your starting point. This week we focus on plank modifications.
Wall Plank

This is very important beginner exercise that maintains neurological balance.

    Stand 3 feet from a wall, facing the wall.
    Place your forearms against the wall, elbows below shoulder height, thumbs in front of eyes.
    Activate your abdominal muscles.
    Hold that position for 15 seconds, rest and repeat.
    Keep in mind that the key to this exercise is to perform it within your pain-free range of motion.

This exercise is all about developing a motor pattern.
45-Degree Plank

    Rest your forearms on a padded exercise bench.
    Contract your abdominal muscles and balance your weight on your forearms and toes.
    Create a straight line from your neck to your ankles.
    Check that your forearms are aligned with your torso (forearms parallel to each other).
    Elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders.
    Head, spine, and pelvis should be in neutral position.
    Breathe throughout the exercise.

Kneeling or Half Plank

    Begin from all fours position, hands and knees on a mat.
    Come down to rest on your forearms and contract your abdominal muscles.
    Extend your leg resting on your knees to create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

Find a place to begin, and your brain and body will thank you. Need help? Ask a RED Vest trainer for help.
Good plank form

    Head in line with spine
    Straight line from head to toes
    Arms at 90 degrees, forearms parallel
    Head, spine, and hips in neutral position
    Shoulders back and away from ears
    Legs braced front and back

Common mistakes

In the beginning your plank may not look perfect. But follow the above guidelines and you will see your endurance, strength, and form improve.

    Hips too high (hips look like Mt. Rainier)
    Hips too low (hammock)
    Head up (chin is up)

Benefits of planking

    Plank is a great exercise to strengthen your primary breathing muscles. A strong core supporting correct breathing patterns will improve your heart health, support better sleep, and help you manage stress.
    Developing a strong core strengthens your back muscles, reducing your risk of back strains or back injury.
    Planks can reset your posture after spending time doing desk work (forward head, rounded shoulders, anterior pelvic tilt, slumping forward etc.).
    Holding a plank is a mental challenge as well as a physical challenge. Grow your brain "muscle" along with your body muscles.

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