Why Plank?

27 June, 2018

Our spine is unstable, made up of vertebrae attached to our shoulders and pelvic girdle.  The strength of the muscles surrounding those bones give us stability to maintain posture and move without injury. These muscles make up our core.

"Plank is great way to achieve an isometric contraction for your core. Incorporating planks in your regular exercise routine can help improve the stabilization strength in your spine. Many of the muscles trained in the plank assist in maintaining good posture through sitting and standing positions."  says Gavin Dewitt, Fitness Director.

5 functional benefits of core strength

    Strength and flexibility
    Reduction of back pain
    Improvement in balance, posture, and stability
    Better ability to perform daily tasks safely
    Better athletic performance


How to Plank

Full 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 yours legs to 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.

Modifications to the full plank

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.

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


Three common mistakes

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


In the beginning it may not look perfect. Follow the above rules and you will see your endurance, strength and form improve.

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