Don’t go overboard on the plank.

Don’t go overboard on the plank

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The plank has become the go-to core move but the downside is it’s over prescription and over use which has come at the expense of other, more superior core exercises.

Let’s be honest, planks alone will not strengthen your core or give turn your abdominal muscles into a sleek six-pack. And planks alone will not strengthen your back or develop better upper body strength. Sure this exercise can assist with strengthening your back, but a stand-alone exercise? Not so much.

While holding a plank for 5-10 minutes is impressive, your time could be better spent with other conditioning moves that will improve your overall performance.

Here is one to consider, along with its variations.

Push-ups
That’s right; an old school move that doesn’t get enough time in the spotlight anymore. There are so many muscles groups that get recruited in performing the push-up, including those same core muscles that are triggered by the plank. Perfecting your push-up, having proper form and using the full range of motion will give you the competitive edge you are looking for and challenge your mental toughness.

Push-up Variations
Feet elevated
1 leg push-ups
Hands close together, hands far apart
Push-up knee in-alternating shifts; aka Spiderman
Diving push-ups
Push-up arm raise
Push-up with resistance-bands
Walk out push-ups
Partner push-ups – hi 5

The varieties are endless and challenging. Perfect your push-up and watch your core, upper body and endurance improve in less time than it takes to lay down on the ground and perform a plank.

Posted in irun.ca

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