Often you hear stories of athletes looking to improve their core strength in order to reduce injury, boost metabolism, improve balance, and increase flexibility. While you could spend hours in the gym tackling all these goals did you know there is one sure-fire exercise that addresses all of them? Yes, Planking. Planks are one of the most common core exercises and for good reason! You can do planks anywhere, with no equipment, at any fitness level.
While it seems like a basic exercise, nailing down your plank form can be challenging. We asked licensed physical therapist and clinic director of our Glendale clinic, Andrew Songer for some advice on how to hit the perfect plank every time.
Here are his simple tips:
You want your hips in line with your back, core tight, head down, and arms apart.https://foothillsrehab.com/amazing-things-w…n-when-you-plank/
Avoid keeping your arms close, arched or slumped back, head up or bending at the knee.
How do you make sure everything stays in line? One tip is to “tuck your tail” or “pull your buckle up”. These phrases remind you to pull your ab muscles together and tuck your hips under.
For a little help, make sure you do not forget your glutes! Planks are a full-body exercise and engaged glutes will help you keep everything nice and straight.
How to scale:
We get it; planks are hard! If you are having trouble holding a plank on your toes for 15-30 seconds, try going down to your knees, instead. There is no shame in scaling! Form over difficulty, every time.
Little known fact: To make planks harder, keep your arms apart. When you clasp your hands together, you are recruiting your chest, so this substitution takes away from focusing solely on your core.
The best way to stay healthy starts with proper form and prehab to prevent injuries before they happen.
Schedule with Andrew today. No referral necessary.
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If you are looking for 1:1 or group sports performance training take a look at Foothills Acceleration and Sport Training (FAST). FAST is here to bring your game to the next level, regardless of sport, age, or ability. Driven by results, our Strength and Conditioning coaches work to help everyone, from youth to professional athletes, achieve their goals, both in and out of season. From HIIT to strength training, our individual and concentrated group fitness classes will challenge you—no matter your fitness level.
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Andrew Songer PT, DPT, Cert. DN
Education – Northern Arizona University
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