How To Turbo Charge The Plank
In my previous article I spoke about proper progression towards the plank. However, this is not the only approach you can take to progress your plank, and you may have some similar ways to achieve this too.
Now it is time to have focus on the static hold, but the main focus is the anterior portion of the body.
Why do we need plank in the first place?
Many kettlebell and other fitness instructors are so focused on the plank believing it is the magic pill to diminish all your problems. I also want biceps like Arnold and squat mechanic like 4 year old Asian boy but it is almost impossible.
It is a good core exercise but not the only one. In the Youtube University and Instagram Academy you can see a lot of bad looking planks. Some studies has shown that the plank has 100% activation of rectus abdominis versus crunches which was just 60% activation. That was the beginning of plank revolution.
Proper position of the Plank (starting from head down)
– Make a “double chin” or just have a normal curve of the cervical spine.
– Put your forearms with clenched fists on the ground and elbows right under the shoulders similar to the double clean position.
– Spine should be neutral regarding to the body composition and shape. Some will have more and some less kyphosis.
– Squeeze the legs together and knees locked
– Dorsiflex the feet.
This is the way that everybody uses the Plank. I will give you some tips to make it more efficient. We always want to stimulate not annihilate.
Try this extra tips to add more tension in the progression:
– Push your elbows into the ground and in the same time pull it in the direction of your feet and then try to open the elbows.
– Pull your toes towards the elbows. (not totally, but imagine that)
You may also try these variation:
- Kettlebell One Arm Touch – Put the kettlebell in front of your client and instruct them to touch it very slowly. If they are too quick you can add tempo like 3-2-1.
- Elastic Band Pull – Give them an elastic band to hold in their hand. Instruct them to pull the band like an they would with an upright row. Ensure the forearm is close to the body and the elbow is pointing towards their legs, not in the air. After the concentric phase of the movement, they have to resist to the eccentric phase of the movement. You can pull it until their arm is straight and parallel to the floor.
- Rotational Plank – One arm is off the ground with the palm on the back of the head, forearm is on the face all the time. Try to rotate on your t-spine like you want to look to the ceiling and DO NOT remove the hand from the face, that is the beauty part of this drill. Your pivot point is the elbow on the ground/floor.
I hope you enjoy my plank variations. It is fun to change things sometimes and sometimes the change is good. For you and for your clients