Below is a video of one of my favorite core activation exercises. I love it…
Everyone loves to plank and you might think that some plank is better than no plank, but it’s not.
Having your butt way in the air isn’t exactly holding your trunk in neutral and neither is letting your hips sag down.
You don’t want to reinforce poor movement patterns or you’ll just keep moving poorly. Always take it down a notch if you can’t get into good form.
The reason you do a plank is to reinforce or teach your deep abdominal layer (transverse abdominis is the deepest) to hold your hips and low back in a Neutral position… it’s the “anti” muscle.
The “core” of your body is meant to control action – anti- twist (rotate), anti- bend, anti-flex, anti-extend.
At Her Fitness, I bring out the broom stick (or PVC pipe) to make sure my clients have proper form. At home, you can take a broom handle and lay it along your back, from head to butt, and have the stick touch the back of your head, your upper back and your butt.
Here’s the checklist:
- Long in the spine (three points of contact of back of head, upper back, butt)
- Hips straight across (one side should not be higher than the other)
- Ribs down (we never want rib flare)
- Toes under heels if you are on the toes
- Elbows under shoulders
- Stiffness in between the shoulder blades (don’t allow your upper back to sink down)
- If you’re on your toes, keep knees straight.
Extra Cues no one else will give you, but at Her Fitness, we always help you get the most bang for your buck:
- When you inhale, breathe into your sides and upper back, think 3-D
- When you inhale, do an “anti-Kegel” (i.e. push pee out)
- When you exhale, do a “Kegel” (i.e. hold back the pee)