Primal Essential Movement: Plank
The plank is a static exercise that targets the muscles in the core, including the rectus abdominis (abs), obliques, transverse abdominis, and the back. It’s a great exercise for strengthening the core and improving posture.
To perform a plank, start in a push-up position with your arms extended, hands shoulder-width apart, and your feet together. Brace your abs and hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. It’s important to keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, and avoid letting your hips drop or rise.
As you get stronger, you can increase the length of time you hold the plank, or try variations such as the side plank or the bird-dog plank. It’s also important to focus on proper form to get the most out of the exercise and avoid injury.
Here are some additional tips for performing a plank correctly:
Keep your neck neutral: Avoid looking up or down, as this can put strain on the neck. Keep your gaze focused on the ground about a foot in front of your hands.
Engage your glutes: Activating your glutes can help maintain a straight line from your head to your heels and protect your lower back.
Breathe: Planking can be challenging, so make sure to breathe deeply and evenly throughout the exercise. Don’t hold your breath.
Progress gradually: Start with a shorter hold time, such as 10-15 seconds, and gradually increase as you get stronger. Aim to eventually hold the plank for 1 minute or more.
Mix it up: To prevent boredom and keep your muscles challenged, try incorporating different variations of the plank, such as the side plank, reverse plank, or the bird-dog plank, into your routine.
Remember, the key to a successful plank is maintaining proper form and engaging your core muscles throughout the entire exercise. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop and modify the exercise to better suit your abilities.