The plank is an amazing exercise, but who wants to hold that position endlessly? Frankly I think it has just become a torture device for trainers over the years, but an important question to always ask, what is holding this position statically for minutes at a time doing for me?
I can make some arguments in both directions……..yes it works shoulder stability and definitely your abs, but it also puts your posture in a not so ideal position and places an enormous amount of force all over the spine that perhaps for longer than a minute may not be great on the body.
What’s the solution?
Here is a great one! Why not challenge your core by having to make small adjustments to your stability as you reach for an object? Better yet, how about a golf ball balancing on a cone. When your body is shaking and tired, but you need to stay focused and stable, it takes this exercise to a new level. And on the plus side, it is so difficult and effective, you do not need to do this for several minutes. Check out my demo in the video!
The keys to success with this whether you do it from pushup position or an elevated quadruped are as follows:
- Posture, posture, posture! If you can’t maintain it, then you will want to make adjustments. You could do this exercise on an incline or even from the knees.
- Neutral spine is a must, and again, choose an appropriate level that allows you to maintain it.
- As you reach in front of you, the goal is minimal shifting of weight. You want you body to stay in position!
- I like using a cue of pulling the shoulder blades in my back pocket to engage the muscles around my neck in upper back better. Sometimes it’s easy to let your upper traps take over on this one.
- As always, make it fun! This is a great one to compete against a friend on, see how many successful taps you can do without the ball falling.
I’m off to cold weather tonight, and will be bringing you some fun videos this weekend!
Goodnight friends, S