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Planks Are Boring!!!

Try This Instead!

Posted by Scott_Herman - February 14th, 2019
11

I feel like planks just aren’t getting the love they deserve any more. It’s like people read a book or watch anime nowadays while planking, kind of like when you see people texting while doing ab crunches. CLEARLY if it’s that easy, you’re not doing it right! If you can hold a plank for more than 30 seconds, you’re simply doing it wrong. Also, anything over 30 seconds to 1 minute MAX starts to get INSANELY BORING.


So what if you wanted to make sure you’re not only smashing your core, but maximizing your time while doing it? Well, it’s time to kick those half-assed banana planks to the curb and fix your form by mastering its six individual components. I really want you to get these six tips into your brain, so whenever you plank, you kill it!


Component #1: Feet

Your feet need to be close together because this will make it easier for you to activate your glutes and hamstrings (you should be flexing those while doing a plank). Also, your toes should be bent as much as possible so that the bottom of your feet (your arches) are vertical to the floor. Remember that your feet and your elbows are your contact points with the Earth which means you need to pay extra attention to both.



Component #2: Elbows

Your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders. This is known as joint stacking and helps you gain maximum stability during any lift or movement. This will also help you from falling into scapula retraction as you will have more strength to keep and maintain your upper back flat.



Component #3: Hands

If you want to maximize the plank, you can’t have your hands together or your fingers in a lock. They need to be straight out with your forearms parallel to each other. If anything, make fists to remind you that they’re not allowed to touch each other, maybe even imagine they’re fighting if that helps, anything you have to do to keep your arms straight!



Component #4: Shoulder Blades

We’ve briefly mentioned this when talking about the elbows. If your shoulder blades are relaxed during the plank, this might be one of the reasons why they are winging in your everyday life and while you’re lifting. It simply means that you’re not activating your serratus anterior muscles and your shoulder blade control is lousy. I will cover scapula winging in more detail in a later article, but for now all you need to do is press your body away from the floor. A great cue would be to try and push your thoracic spine to the ceiling above you and imagine being able to hold a plate across your back. Your back should be a FLAT surface.



Component #5: Pelvis

This is extremely important, especially if you tend to suffer from Anterior Pelvic Tilt (APT). I have an entire ARTICLE dedicated to fixing APT so you can check that out by clicking on the blue hyperlinked text. But you really need to concentrate on tucking your pelvis during a plank to help avoid this condition altogether. Tucking your pelvis means you need to activate your glutes and flattten or completely round your lower back so that your glutes and lower abs are firing. This will make the plank much harder than usual but it’s also the proper way to do it and it’s usually the most skipped step.



Component #6: Core

As soon as you tuck your pelvis you will feel some core activation, but to take it one step further you should also be trying to flex your entire rectus abdominis as well as your obliques. You don’t have to squeeze everything as hard as humanly possible though, you just need to activate your core enough so that your spine can remain stable throughout the entirety of the plank.



BONUS TIP!

If you really want to take your plank to the next level and make it a 30 second exercise for ANYONE, no matter how strong you are, this is what you’re going to have to do. Obviously make sure all six components we just mentioned are in check and then proceed to pull your elbows and toes in towards your core. Believe it or not this slight addition of pressure and flexing is going to make your body start shaking within 15 – 20 seconds if done correctly. I’m not joking! Get down on the floor and try it right now, you’re going to be blown away and your abs are going to feel tight all day long, it’s a great feeling!


Conclusion

So stop doing boring planks and push your limits! You can do anything my fitness fam and I promise to not leave you hanging with no videos or articles for this long again! I’m sorry, it just had to happen!



Related Videos:


How To: Plank | 3 GOLDEN RULES! (MADE BETTER!)


Plank vs. Crunch - Which is The Best Exercise For Abs & Core?


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MEMBER COMMENTS
Falling
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nice article
StanB
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Not long ago, I had to go for physical therapy due to prior automobile accidents. My therapist had me do planks exclusively. If my memory serves me right, I had to perform standard planks, then alternate raising each leg while keeping the other leg and foot remaining in position.
Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@stanb oh nice! That can be a good variation to do and can light up your obliques a bit more by having to really focus on one side at a time as you raise each foot