The Plank Exercise

the plank exerciseHere’s an exercise that’s a must-add to your repertoire of calisthenic activities if you have not done so already. If you regularly do pushups and/or burpees, then the plank exercise is definitely one you should not miss out on.

The beauty of the plank exercise is even though you are in a fixed position it is still gives you an all-body workout. Mainly focusing on your shoulders, chest, and core you’ll also likely feel it in your legs and back.

Once you loosen up a bit, find a comfortable flat area and if you have a rubber mat or carpeted surface that would be ideal since you will be resting your body weight on your forearms. On a flat hard surface like concrete or hardwood flooring the plank exercise can hurt a bit and you may also slide especially when you start sweating. Therefore a mat, carpet, workout pad, or a towel may help out alot when doing the plank exercise.

The Plank Exercise

Before getting into the position of the plank, it’s best to first start off in regular push-up form. Most folks prefer to start in the push-up position before going down into a plank. While in a push-up carefully go down and rest one of your forearms on the ground creating a ninety degree angle. If you don’t know which arm to go down with first, start with your weaker arm so that your stronger arm is still solidly holding the rest of your body in proper position. Try not to sway in any direction and remain centered over the ground.

Once your first forearm is down on the ground forming a 90 degree angle move your other arm down into position. essentially both your arms will be making L shapes while you hold your body in the same position as a push-up. Focus on not arching or sagging your back. Instead, keep a firm straight line with your head/eyes looking at the floor. You want you neck, spine and back aligned straight with all your weight centered.

focus exercise the plankAt first while you are learning the plank exercise strive to hold this position for a brief period of time for possibly only 10 seconds. Increase the time in increments of 5 seconds eventually working your way up to an entire minute hold. Don’t push yourself too hard especially when starting out. There is no rush getting into shape so always remember to take your time in improving your fitness.

Here are 3 routines incorporating the plank exercise. When you’re ready, try out one at your ability level. You may want to start with the beginner routine to see how it feels then take it from there.

When you’re ready to start find a comfortable spot, loosen up a bit, put your favorite workout music on and get ready for a full body workout.

20 Jumping Jacks
20 High Knees
20 Butt Kicks
10 Push-ups
15 second Plank
20 Squats
10 Lunges on each leg
25 Mountain Climbers
1 minute rest
*repeat 1-3 times depending on ability level

25 Jumping Jacks
25 High Knees
25 Butt Kicks
15 Push-ups
25 second Plank
25 Squats
15 Lunges on each leg
35 Mountain Climbers
1 minute rest
*repeat 1-3 times depending on ability level

30 Jumping Jacks
30 High Knees
30 Butt Kicks
20 Push-ups
30 second Plank
30 Squats
20 Lunges on each leg
50 Mountain Climbers
10 Push-ups
30 second Plank
1 minute rest
*repeat 1-3 times depending on ability level

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