Hi guys, Kris from Custom Fitness here, your Amarillo personal trainer. Today we’re going to be wrapping up the two part series on changing your plank to change your core. Now be sure to read part one if you haven’t already at the link here: And as always, if you have any questions about today’s blog then please give us a call at (806)-322-3188
So for today’s planks I chose to use some disks, and you are going to use that to destabilize yourself. Where your stabilization would be the shoes on the mat holding that traction, the destabilization is where your muscles now have to work in order to hold yourself in a stable position, and that does take some practice.
Again you don’t have to use disks, you can just use socks and a slick floor, or a couple of washcloths also works. For working on carpet we suggest to all of our clients to use paper plates. The disks that we use in the studio are just pieces of cloth and it makes it very easy. If you know anything about us then you know that we are all about taking away any excuse that you would have for not exercising. So when you can use paper plates and socks, you really run out of excuses as to why you can’t get that done.
So now I have three exercises for you. They are three great core exercises that are working from a plank position. And remember that it is always about your form and technique and not speed or quantity. You really want to take that time to get that form right to really be squeezing and making sure that you are getting every ounce of effort out of that.
#1 Mountain Climber
So for this one you are going to be getting into your plank position with your toes on the disks. You are going to be getting into your high plank position to where you have that long, flat back. And with a mountain climber, a lot of people kind of run it in and go very fast with it. They put a lot of weight in it and they are shifting back and forth a lot. So with this your goal is going to be your shoulders staying directly under your hands. You also want to keep that elbow soft. You don’t want to lock that elbow out, you want those muscles to be worked.
So with mountain climbers you are pulling in your knee to your arm, but the slower that you can move for a core exercise, the more that you are going to be engaging in the right way. So as you pull that knee in, actually try to lighten the weight on that front foot. And instead of digging it in and holding yourself there, lighten that weight, put all of that weight in the hands and in your rear foot. So you’ll do that, push it back and then switch back. If you want to switch at the same time that’s fine, but still take a pause at the front to lighten that weight and put it in that back foot.
So you can do it several different ways. If you are looking for more of a cardio emphasis then you would obviously be moving a little bit faster, but what you gain in cardio you are going to lose a little bit in the form and technique as far as pulling in the core and really isolating that. So if you’re wanting a core exercise then it might be better to slow it a little bit down and take the weight out of that front foot.
Exercise #2 is a plank tuck.
We take that plank tuck the same way that we take that high plank position. You are going to pull both knees in without moving the shoulders and then go back out. And now the goal is not to have the shift of the body where weight exchanges between front and back, but rather to maintain the weight in the back and the hands.
So you are going to pull in both of those knees and then press out through those heels. Again, you do this all while maintaining that core engagement, making sure that as you’re extending out into that full plank that you are engaging inward and pulling those hands and toes towards each other as you press out through the heels.
So both of those are going to work through the front, but what can you do for the sides in a plank position? Well, without going into a one-arm plank, side plank or anything like that, we are just going to take that same plank tuck and take it into an oblique. And our oblique is just tucking it back into the sides so that you can work the oblique muscles of the abdomen.
So you’re going to find that high plank position again, we slide back and instead of pulling the knees directly in as we just did the last time, you’re going to take both knees to one shoulder. You take it back out and then twist to the other shoulder, and you’ll keep alternating.
And what you will notice is that the shoulders still will not move, you’re not rocking forward and back. You’re maintaining central pressure so that you have the body directly over your center, the arms are still soft, you’re using that good form on that extended plank and making sure that you’re engaged on the way back. You want to take your time with it, because again, racing through it isn’t going to give you better form, it isn’t going to give you better abs, and instead you’ll just end up with a lot of reps. So instead slow it down and just see what good you can get out of the slower rep.
I hope that those exercises will help you switch things up and to keep challenging yourself!
So, if you are 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. What we do is work with our clients not just on fitness, but also nutrition. We will ensure that you are supported throughout every aspect of your health and wellness journey, and that includes making those eating changes. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.