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6 variations of the plank exercise to strengthen the abdominal muscles and the core

By now, most people know that planks are good for you.

The simple position can help you strengthen and strengthen your abdominal, shoulder, arm and hip muscles. The name "plank" itself comes from the idea of ​​a plank of wood or wooden board – a hard, solid structure that has no moving parts and can carry a heavy load when properly positioned. Our body can absorb forces from all directions and must be able to move, but also stabilize when hit with unexpected force.

What is a plank exactly?

For technical reasons, the standard plank [1

9459006 is an exercise in which a person statically holds a sloped neutral spine position while supporting himself upper and lower extremities. Traditionally, the forearms or hands and toes are the points of contact with the ground, and the body floats above the ground in that position without the belly hanging outwards and the back being curved.

Planks are one of the best bodyweight exercises a person can perform. They take up very little space and require virtually no equipment (perhaps just a mat for a standard plank). They are aimed not only at the abdominal muscles, but also at the scapular stabilization muscles and everything in between. Exposure to the hands or forearms activates the anterior serratus, pecs, and triceps, as well as the muscles of the neck and upper shoulders. Holding a neutral spine attacks the transverse abdominis, multifidi, rectus abdominis and the inner and outer oblique surfaces. Prevent the hips from dropping the fire, the glutes, quads and thigh muscles.

Planks can improve the stability of the shoulder girdle for severe overblown exercises while taking into account the strength and endurance of the core to improve stability for any sport or workout. Isometric hold (or stoppage) may also be beneficial for posture and positioning in everyday activities such as sitting, standing, and walking.

Changes to the plank can be made from comfort and skill levels, including switching from the hands to the forearms. You may experience wrist pain or shift from toe to knee support when proper positioning is difficult or when there is pain in the feet and toes.

How to Spice Up Your Plank

Okay, we're clear on the basics – and you've probably spent a lot of time getting into the pose and hoping for a stronger core.

But keeping a plank position for 30 seconds or longer can be a bit boring. A static, isometric hold has many advantages, but adding a dynamic component to your regular old plank can challenge your body even more and help you to improve your strength and stability in new ways.

If you have reached the standard version and can hold a plank for 60 seconds, it's time to add a new twist. Try to increase the intensity of your plank and challenge your entire body in a new way with these 6 alternative variants.

Challenging planks for a strong core

  Training and running in the Marina Bay on the waterfront of Singapore, Asia

Tempura Getty Images


Start for a commando plank in the normal plank position, resting on hands and toes, with a neutral spine, retracted abdomen and long neck, from there to one lower arm and then back down to your hands. Repeat this movement Begin by lowering the right arm first for 5 repetitions, then lowering onto the left forearm and 5 seconds upwards, so that you can practice starting each set of 5 f from the opposite arm.

Plank with hip extension

Start in standard plank position. Once you feel stable, lift one foot off the floor and continue to extend it from the hips. Then slowly lift the leg up and back to the ceiling without losing the neutral spine. Make sure you initiate this movement from the hip, not from the back, and squeeze the glute before lifting. Perform 5 to 10 reps on one leg before switching to the other side.

Plank on BOSU or Balance Board

Perform a standard plank with forearms resting on a BOSU or hands resting on a balance board. Hold the grip upright without an unstable surface moving under you.

Plank with forearm circles

Start in a standard plank with forearms resting on a Physioball / Swiss Ball. While maintaining a neutral spine, with your forearms in one direction, make 10 small circles, then 10 small circles with your forearm in the opposite direction. Do not drop your hips, back or head.

Hip Brace Sideplate

A side brace is like a pre-plank in the sense that you want to create a stable, neutral spine position that will keep you isometric for at least 30 seconds, but it will feel more demanding. With a side plank, you only support one side of the body.

To play, start lying on your side. Support your forearm or hand (start with the forearm, make progress if you feel sturdier and stronger as long as there is no wrist pain). Raise your hips off the ground so you support yourself by walking on the other foot with the other foot slightly in front of it to aid stabilization. In this position, without twisting your upper body, start your upper leg up and down without bending your lower back to help. You will feel a burn on the side of your abdomen, shoulder and lower hips and on the moving hip.

If it is too difficult and you are wiggling around, begin with your knees bent and lift the side plank loading in the forearm and knee before lifting with the straight leg upper leg. Imagine two glass panes on either side of your body that prevent you from turning backwards or forwards.

      Creeper Plank

      Begin in the default plank position of the forearms. Once you are stable, slowly move your arms away from your body. Hold in any position for at least 10 seconds, then bring your arms under you and rest. Repeat this exercise several times without your hips falling down on both sides, and without the lower back arch. Feel the burning.

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