Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your Amarillo personal trainer. Today we’re going to be talking about changing your plank to change your core. This is going to be the first part in a two part series, so be on the lookout for part two coming soon. And if you have any questions about today’s blog, then please give us a call at (806)-322-3188

So, why would you want to change your plank? Well, whenever someone does something too long, does it the same way, and doesn’t provide the body with enough of a challenge, then what typically happens is a plateau. And I see a lot of people getting to the point where they can hold their planks for two minutes, four minutes, and even much, much longer. They do this just to show that they can, and that’s good and it does build strength through the core, but the problem is that people don’t go through life just holding still.

You don’t typically need your body to engage without movement, but what you need is to be able to move and have that core be functional. So after people get to the point where they can hold that plank for longer and longer, maybe it’s time to change it up and start experiencing new things.

So, when you’re doing a plank, remember that you can modify it in several ways. You don’t have to be on your hands and toes. You can do a low plank on your forearms, and you can do them on your knees as well if you need to. Also, you could also modify that plank up on a bench. Maybe you are holding onto a higher surface and you have your feet up behind you. You can do that either on forearms or on hands.

Just remember to take it at your own pace and modify where you need to. You don’t want to go too fast when building up to a harder version when you don’t have the form for the easier version down. If you do that you can lead yourself to self-injury and end up being out of commision for longer than it would have been if you took your time with the easier version. You want to be able to really reap the benefits of the exercise. You want to make sure that you do the right level for you.

So today I am going to be showing you something that is a little more advanced. It is really for people that have been doing planks and have been able to hold them for at least a minute with good form. So from there, you can start to improve what they are doing, benefit wise, with that plank to make it a little more challenging to the core.

Before we get into the actual plank, I want to take a minute to talk about form and technique. That goes along with what you should be feeling during a plank.

So with form and technique with a plank, I love to do planks on a smooth surface and without shoes so that i really have a chance to feel the body working for me instead of relying on the traction of my shoes. Often people are wearing shoes with the rubber and press it into the floor, and that will stick and hold them there. But if you are on a slick surface, possibly on socks or disks, then you are going to have to hold that body in that position. With that you are going to experience a whole different plank then what you normally would.

So in your plank, remember that you are going to want a nice, level back. You never want to sway that low back down towards the floor, and that is whether you are on your knees or toes, or forearms and hands. And for this I use my hands, but you could easily modify them on the forearms. The only thing is that it is going to limit the range of motion a little bit.

Okay, now to set up for the exercise!

You are going to want to get into your normal plank. And that is in whatever way is best for you. And while you are holding, you want to make sure that you have that long, flat back, your shoulders are flat, and that your hands are directly under your shoulders. You don’t want to be pulled out or back to where your hands aren’t directly under you. And now you want to think about pressing your heels back behind you while you hold that.

Now the tricky part is that you are going to want to pretend that you have a mat under you and you’re squishing it up. So you’re not actually going to move or pull or anything, but you are going to engage to where your toes and hands are sliding towards each other. Because that pressure is pulling in the engagement is going through the core rather than just in the arms and the toes. You want to make sure that you have a lot of pressure in the right places.

So when you’re doing your plank what should you feel?

Well, you are definitely going to feel the upper body working, but you should also really be feeling that core tightening, pulling in the belly button up to the spine up through your chin, and you’re really engaging the whole central part of you so that you can maintain that position. So again, a slick floor and socks with this is great to practice with because you are going start to want to slide and then you’re going to want to push them back, especially if you’re used to doing planks in shoes. So to stop that, you do the slick floor and the socks and you start to work on pulling in. And if you notice yourself starting to push away, then pull it back in.

So that would be something to practice so that you can get to the point where you start to change this. But if you can’t get yet hold that plank on your own core muscles, then the extra movement in it won’t be beneficial to you yet. So you really want to make sure that what you are doing is beneficial.

So i’m going to end part one here. In part two we’re going to be going from the set up to learning the two exercises that are really going to challenge your core!.

If can’t wait for part two, or you want to know more about Custom Fitness and what we do here, then please give us a call. If you’re wanting the accountability and help with creating an action plan to see results, or are wanting to someone to help create a workout plan to push you to your greatest potential, then that’s what we’re here for. Our trainers are here to look out for you and make sure that you are meeting your goals in a safe way.

At Custom Fitness, we customize a plan for you. We sit down with you and find out what your needs are and then build a health and fitness plan around that. We have an entire team of dedicated professionals to help you with your health and fitness goals. To get your consultation set up, give us a call at 806-322-3188 or email us at info@customfitness.biz At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.