For those who think I am talking about wood, I'm not. A plank is an exercise used to strengthen your core. The core is our torso, and it is very important to have a strong core. Plus they are a great way to strengthen your back with very little stress. At the same time they help to tone up the stomach, my weak area, and build upper body strength.
Planks are similar to a push up with out the up and down motion, instead you just hold it. Doesn't sound fun does it? At first it is hard, but as your core gets stronger it becomes easier.
What you need, comfortable clothes, and an exercise mat or something soft under your elbows and knees.
When starting out be sure to keep your body in line, don't hang your head down, don't let your butt go up in the air, or your let your abs hang, and remember to breath. It's good to use a mirror when starting out so you can make sure your form is correct. When starting out try to hold the position for a least 30 seconds. Watch this video for proper way to lift up to prevent back pain and injury.
Once you are comfortable with this position you can than lift the knees off the floor. Watch the video to make sure your form is correct.
video. You can also move the leg out to the side, again alternating legs with the same amount of reps.
After this point you can have some real fun, there are so many ways to do planks. Try doing a side plank.
To make the beginner position more effective work your obliques (side of the abs) by lifting and lowering the hip towards the floor. Increase the intensity by putting your top leg out and incorporate the obliques by doing the same as above.
Those are all the basics, you can find more variations on YouTube. Oh but first a last image of my favorite way to do a plank. I love this because you are not only working the core, but getting rid of back flap using a row, want see it live click here.
I use to have lower back pain when ever I stood up for an hour or more, since I started doing planks I no longer have that issue. It is recommended you consult a professional health practitioner before starting any exercise program.
Do you plank?