Strengthen your whole body with plank exercises

Strengthen your entire body with one simple and highly effective exercise, a plank. It’s been given a bad press, used and taught unhelpfully. Here’s my chance to set the record straight.

 

To begin, nota bene. Shakespeare would have you know that “To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first”. Clearly he has read my blogs and therefore a most illustrious moment for me. So, if you are unfamiliar with these exercises I recommend that you start with exercise 1 and 2  before exercises 3,4,5 and 6. They can wait.

 

Start by holding the positions for only a few seconds and gradually increase the time. There are no medals for over doing things. Discretion is the better part of valour here.

 

Table plank

table plank core strengthening for beginnersPlace your hands on a work top

Rise up onto your toes and lean forwards and upwards drawing the back of your head away from your spine

Drop your shoulders away from your ears

Feel your tummy tighten

Breathe!

 

Hands and knees

Core strengthening on your hands and kneesOn your hands and knees, squeeze your buttocks and walk your hands away from your legs

Drop your shoulders away from your ears, draw the back of your head away from your spine

Feel your tummy tighten and breathe!

 

 

Front lying plank

Beginners plank for core strengtheningLie on your front, resting on your forearms

Drop your shoulders away from your ears, draw the back of your head away from your spine

Feel your tummy tighten and breathe!

 

Kneeling plank

Kneeling plank for strong coreFrom the position above, as you draw the back of your head away from your tailbone, come up onto your knees

Drop your shoulders away from your ears, draw the back of your head away from your spine

Feel your tummy tighten and breathe!

 

 

Forearm plank

Forearm plank for strong coreLean back over your toes

Draw the back of your head away from your tailbone

Drop your shoulders away from your ears Feel your tummy tighten

Keep breathing!

 

Hands and toes plank

Hands and toe plank for core strengtheningLean back over your toes, draw the back of your head away from your tailbone

Drop your shoulders away from your ears

Feel your tummy tighten

And once again; BREATHE!!

 

A few controlled seconds of holding a position with smooth even breaths is the way to go. Unimpressive and unsafe is the straining and hurting of your body with your blood pressure sky rocketing if you force yourself to hold for longer than is appropriate for your body.

 

If you are feeling down hearted when you start these exercises because you can’t sustain them for very long or progress to the next one very quickly, consider the relevance of time and patience.

 

You may think time and patience are not your friends when in fact they may be your besties. Picture filling an empty water-butt with water by means of a teaspoon because that tool is the only one available.

 

Initially it may appear pointless and ridiculous. Given time, consistency and persistence, you will fill that butt. Patience is not simply about tolerating the waiting game, it is as much about what you do while you wait. Use the plank exercises at whatever level is appropriate for you, as the teaspoon. Be consistent and persistent and in time you will have generated significantly greater body strength. The water-butt will be full and you my friends, will be proud as peacocks.

 

 

 

 

Looking to make the most of the body you’re in, for more of the life you want.
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It’s not about finding more time to exercise.  Really!

Physiotherapy through movement

Founded in human evolution

makes every move you make count, in everything you do.  




There are 6 comments

  1. Sylvi 6th March 2017 at 11:38 am

    ACE blog!! Thank you Rachel

    1. Rachel Kili 6th March 2017 at 11:47 am

      Thank you Sylvi! So glad it appealed.

      Rachel

  2. Helen 6th March 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Brilliant. I have a relative in her eighties who goes to her local gym most days and the plank is her party piece – she holds the club record for longest (time,not length) plank!!

    1. Rachel Kili 9th March 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Hello Helen, your relative is an inspiration to us all! It just goes to show what can be achieved and that age doesn’t necessarily have to be a barrier to achieving great things. Thank you for sharing.
      Rachel

  3. Kath Reynolds 8th March 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Loved this blog Rachel! As I am recovering from an awful enery zapping virus, you have given me hope.
    I go forth slowly and build slowly, back to my former glory
    Thank you x

    1. Rachel Kili 9th March 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Dear Kath, there is always hope and I am delighted that my blog has helped you glimpse a little of the hope you need.

      Rachel x

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