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18 March 2011 ~ 4 Comments

Core Exercises – More Challenging Plank

 Now that I have heard from my readers that the regular “plank” was either fairly easy or a good challenge ‘that made my legs shake’, it is time for the next level.

This time, after stabilizing your position you will lift up one leg while maintaining that stable posture.  Hold for a count of 10 or twenty and lower the leg.  Repeat this with the other leg.  The pictures below are really good to follow.

 First review the Basic Plank

 1. From a kneeling position, place your forearms on the mat with your elbows shoulder-width apart. Interlace your fingers. Walk your feet back until your legs are straight behind you and you’re balancing on your toes (with feet hip-width apart). Contract your abdominal muscles to hold your pelvis off the floor. Pause and breathe in this position.

   
Plank – More challenging

To add the extra challenge to your elbow plank exercises, try  balancing on one leg at a time. It helps to strengthen your core, spine, legs and the deep muscles in your upper back.

2. Concentrate on keeping your hips and shoulders level to the floor as you shift your weight to your right leg. Slowly lift your left leg off the floor. Do not let your midsection collapse toward the floor. Pause for six seconds, then lower your leg. Shift your weight to your left leg and raise your right leg. Pause for six seconds. Bend your knees and sit back on your heels to rest

Ready for the next challenge: Try lifting a leg and the opposite arm simultaneously.

3. As before, concentrate on keeping hips and shoulders level to the floor  –  parallel to the floor.  Fight the tendency to let one hip drop and to lean into the side.

A little later we’ll cover the side plank and variations.  (You can also check blog posts from a while ago when I described  some innovative/advanced side planks I had found.)  e.g. http://blog.sixpackatsixty.com/2010/07/30/yoga-for-abs/

 

The illustrations are from an article in LA Times by Karen Voight

 

 

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