Exercise of the Week 2

Weighted Planks. So simple and just as it sounds. You put some weight on your plank and there you have it. Extra intensity, extra core engagement and extra gainz!

Ever since the sit up was banned from any self-respecting gym-goers vocabulary, planks became the new go-to ab exercise. And with good reason. The focus of this Exercise of the Week is to show you how to take your plank to the next level.

Some of you may know that the way to get the most out of your plank is to do a “hard style” or “RKC” plank. This means rather than just hanging out in the normal plank position, you actively contract all of your muscles, by tucking your hips, squeezing your glutes and pushing the ground away with your elbows. Like this:

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This is great for making the exercise more demanding overall, but it does make it more of a total body exercise than a core-targeted exercise. To shift the pendulum back towards your core, try this:

IMG_20160319_124803.jpg

The weighted plank! Seriously, I love these. Placing the weight on your back gives you a physical reference to actively push your back into, thus helping you to really fire your core by pressing against the weight.
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A great way to think about it is in reference to the dead bug exercise. 

In the dead bug, you move your arms and legs while actively pushing your back into the floor. This is a great exercise, because you can feel the floor under you and so you know where to push your back to engage your core.

However, since the plank has you flipped over on your elbows, there is no reference for how to engage your core. Without placing a weight on your back, you can only use your imagination. So the weighted plank takes away some of the guess work and just makes the overall exercise harder (read: better).

Here are a few reminders:

-If you aren’t comfortable or reasonably coordinated, ask a friend to help you place the weight on your back.

-Make sure to squeeze your glutes hard to keep your hips tucked

-Make sure your shoulder joint doesn’t feel like it is sagging towards the floor. Instead, reach your upper back towards the ceiling.

-Keep your elbows in line right under your shoulders.

-Breathe.

Example Core Finisher with Weighted Planks:

Weighted Plank 30 seconds

V-Ups 30 seconds

Burpie 30 seconds

Repeat for 3 rounds 🙂

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