Planking is a safe, effective way to challenge your core, as well as benefit many other aspects of your training and activities of daily living. You will most likely see some variation of planking in your program at One on One…it is that important!
The core consists of all the deep and superficial muscles attached to the pelvis, trunk and scapula. Its primary function is to stabilize and protect the spine and pelvis. Having muscular endurance, strength and stability in your core will ensure good posture, enhance performance and reduce your risk of injury.
There are many misconceptions regarding core training, with none being more prevalent than the effectiveness of the abdominal crunch. Dr. Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, compares the effect crunches have on your spine to bending a credit card in half multiple times. Eventually it will break!
At One on One, we use several forms of planking to improve core fitness. Elbow plank holds, push-ups, and rollouts are some of the different planking exercises you may come across for your training. No matter what form of planking you may be performing, the parameters are the same.
Below are some “planking” points to remember:
- Maintain “I”. Make sure you keep a straight line from your heel to your ear…your hips should not pike up or dip down. Keep your body rigid throughout the exercise.
- Stay high on your toes; heels away from the floor. This will help engage your thigh and hip muscles for better stability.
- Your shoulders should remain packed down and away from your ears.
- Avoid rounding your upper back.
- When performing either planks or rollouts, press your wrists into the ground/stability ball to help keep your core fully engaged.
For this week and moving forward, focus on using the best possible technique when doing planking exercises. If you are following these guidelines, rest assured you will be feeling it in your core!
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