Tag Archives: plank

Take Your Plank to the Next Level

24 Sep

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we really like the plank exercise and several of its variations.  Unlike traditional crunches and situps, the plank — done correctly — engages, strengthens, and stabilizes your entire core, shoulders to hips (and they’re easier on the back and hips).

I recently found this article titled, 47 Plank Variations for a Killer Core, which provides beginner, intermediate, and advanced level variations of this versatile, bodyweight exercise.

Check it out and give ’em a try.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Take Your Plank to the Next Level

20 Aug

Bridge-Plank-on-Elbows[1]At Athletic Performance Training Center, we really like the plank exercise and several of its variations.  Unlike traditional crunches and situps, the plank — done correctly — engages, strengthens, and stabilizes your entire core, shoulders to hips (and they’re easier on the back and hips).

I recently found this article titled, 47 Plank Variations for a Killer Core, which provides beginner, intermediate, and advanced level variations of this versatile, bodyweight exercise.

Check it out and give ’em a try.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Strengthen Your Back With a Strong Core

5 Dec

Your core is involved in virtually every functional movement your body makes.  And, although most people equate core with abs, these muscles also include your trunk and torso — shoulders through hips.  When your core is strong, it improves balance, stability, and performance while  helping prevent injury.  Your core musculature serves as a powerful foundation for your legs and arms too — which means you can generate more force when you run, jump, and throw.

A Strong Core Means a Strong Back

Usually, abs get most of the credit for protecting the back and serving as the foundation of strength, but they are only a small part of the musculature that makes up the core.  In fact, it is weak and unbalanced core muscles that are linked to low back pain and postural instability.  Weak core muscles result in a loss of the appropriate lumbar curve and poor posture.  Stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain appropriate posture and reduce stress on the spine.

A Strong Core Improves Athletic Performance

By stabilizing the spine, the muscles of the trunk and torso allow the transfer of power to the arms and legs.  The center of the body initiates all powerful movements, and never from the limbs alone.  Before your arms and legs can generate any powerful, rapid muscle contractions, the spine must be solid and stable.  The more stable the core, the more powerfully the extremities can contract.

Core Strengthening Technique

Core strengthening exercises are most effective when the trunk and torso work as a unit and both front and back muscles are activated simultaneously. Compound movements — those which engage multiple joints and muscle groups —  are preferred because of their beneficial effect on stabilization of the spine.  When performing core exercises, you should attempt to pull your navel back in toward your spine, while tightly contracting your abdominal muscles (as if you were preparing to receive a punch to the stomach).  You should be able to breathe normally while bracing without holding your breath.

Core Strengthening Exercises

You should exercise your core muscles at least once a week to keep them strong.  You can perform several exercises to strengthen your entire core.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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