Sunday, September 30, 2012

Planks For Beginners

plank-exercises

The plank exercise has become the gold standard for core workouts (abdominal muscle and muscles that surround the spine and the back). ACE (American Council on Exercise) conducted a study in which, of the 10 best abdominal exercises, the plank ranked number 10. You don't need any equipment, so it fits right into your budget.

Most of my clients and boot-camp enthusiasts incorporate planks in their workout. I realized that everyone can do a plank, from seniors to women who are expecting. You just have to find the best plank position for your fitness level. Planks strengthen your abdominal wall; thus, providing support for your back. Anyone experiencing back pain due to weak abdominal muscle should definitely consider planks as an exercise for your rehab program. 



If you never performed a plank, start with holding the static plank position for 5 to 10 seconds and gradually build up to 45 seconds to a full minute. After you have conquered basic planks, move up to the next level or to a different plank for advanced exercisers. If your lower back aches while doing the plank, you are pushing yourself to hard; drop down to a lower level.



Find your plank level below:

Beginner -- upright position 1: This is designed for those who have bad knees or can't get on the floor. Standing-up, make sure your elbows are aligned with your shoulders, and keep your body straight from head to heel. Concentrate and press your abdominals towards your spine; don't hold your breath. You should be able to hold this for a minute or longer. Once you conquer this level, move to intermediate upright position 2.

*This is a great starting position for seniors.


planks-for-everyone

Intermediate -- upright position 2: This level takes you to a bench, a coffee table or a sturdy chair. Follow the instructions above.


Plank-exercises
Beginner Floor Position 1: This is for people who can get on the floor and don't have bad knees. Make sure your elbows are aligned with your shoulders and lift up and you are on your knees. Keep your body straight from your head to your glutes. Press your ab to your spine and don't hold your breath. Once you conquer this level, you should be able to hold this for a minute or longer, move to position 2.
plank-exercises

Advanced Floor position 2: Follow the instructions above and you press off from your toes.

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Avoid dropping your head, raising your butt, or having your elbows in front of you and place your elbows under your shoulders.
Since planks are a good abdominal workout, you will be seeing an advanced routine soon! Thanks for stopping by and please share this article with friends and/or family members.

*Update: Intermediate/advanced planks for those who can't get on the floor


14 comments:

  1. this is great as most exercise programs incorporate plank work nowadays but none showed how to do it if you have bad knees or cant even get down on the floor.

    excellent pics by the way

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    1. Thank you! I always have to find ways to incorporate different exercises into my clients routines. You have to tweak some to make them work.

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  2. Good information... I need to incorporate this back in my regimen. Thanks for the different levels of difficulties. I didn't realized that there was so many variations.

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  3. I wanted my dad to do planks but he can't get on the floor. Thanks for this useful information.

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  4. I have helped my back problems with various forms of planks, I love them!

    Thanks for participating in Frugal Tuesday Tip - this is a great one - but please link back to one of the hostesses in your post.

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  5. Wonderful post! I absolutely love planks! Since having Baby A I have been using planks as my go to ab exercise to pull my diastis back together!

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  6. I just started doing planks after reading about them on various fitness blogs. I love how you break it down into different positions for everyone. I'll be sharing this on my Facebook page.

    I would also love for you to link this post up to my Motivation Monday linky at http://alifeinbalance.net. We share posts on fitness, healthy recipes, and personal growth.

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  7. Cool Barb and I be there on Monday and thanks for the Facebook post.

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  8. That's a great measure of my fitness level. Since I can't hold a plank for longer than 5 seconds I would say I have some work to do. Thanks for linking up with medical mondays blog hop - I look forward to reading more!

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  9. I used to hate when my trainer started making me do planks, but it was truly a measure of how much fitter I was becoming!
    Love having you on the Medical Monday grid!!!

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  10. Thanks doctor's wives for stopping by and thank you for letting in the medical hop. I enjoy the stories.

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