Planks

in Abs,Whole Body

This exercise, the plank, is one of the best you can do for your abs, arms, and upper body. It makes a great hotel room workout for many reasons, including the fact that it doesn’t require any motion. This isometric exercise relies on maintaining resistance against your muscles and is one you can do for an extended period of time. Planks are best done to music as your head must be facing the ground. You can do planks in a long series of sets for up to an hour to get a a great core workout.

How To Do A Plank

Think of the plank position as being very similar to the push up in the up position. For planks though, you’re not relying on your hands but rather your elbows to support your weight. You want to try and keep your entire back straight right down through your heels and not rest you neck by letting it droop down. Keep your head pointing, but don’t face, forward. Your elbows should form a 90 degree angle between your upper and lower arms. Try and hold the position like this as long as you can.

Plank Sets

planksOnce you back starts dropping, which is usually the first sign of fatigue, you want to lower yourself to your knees and rest for about 30-60 seconds before attempting another set. The plank looks easy and it’s an exercise that’s easy to cheat on. Many people can do planks for a long time but be completely out of the proper position. Doing that provides you with little or no benefit and can actually strain your back. Sagging you neck down or too far up can also cause soreness and stiffness the next day and isn’t a comfortable feeling. Depending on the hotel room your in, a tender back on a hard bed will set you up for a rough morning the next day.

Plank Variations

People often ask how to make planks more difficult, which is touch to answer since the exercise is so dependent on position. We’ll start by making it easier however. You can put pillows under your elbows if they’re sensitive and like push ups, try starting on your knees if you absolutely have to. Both of these methods will make the planks easier until you can do the full position.

To increase the difficulty of the basic plank, you can put a firm couch cushion or pillow under your feet. This makes your core work slightly harder since it has to work more to keep your body balanced. Keep in mind though that you don’t want to have a pillow or cushion that’s too high. This will distort your plank and put more of the pressure on your shoulders and less on the abs and core. It is absolutely necessary to maintain the proper form and keep your body straight while doing planks so you can target your back, abs, triceps, legs, and the rest of your core.

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