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The key to a solid hot body is hard core planking! We’re talking about the Power of the Plank. Planks will strengthen your core better than a crunch ever will. There are so many variations of the traditional plank workout that you will never get bored of this movement! Let’s check out some variations that will help you strengthen your core!
1. The Traditional Plank: If you’ve never planked before, then this is the one you should start with! Prop up on your forearms with your elbows under your shoulders, your hands close together, planted flat on the floor, and your toes planted firmly. Maintain a neutral spine position – which means, don’t push up your hips or arch your back down. Your body should be as level as it is when you do a push-up. Your body should be a straight line. Look at your hands so your neck isn’t craned or sagging. Flex and hold all of your muscles for optimum results. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Increase the amount of time you spend doing this plank by 15 seconds as it starts to get easier until you can hold it for 1 minute, then move on to the other planks in this article.
2. Rocking Plank: Yes it’s just as it sounds! For this Power of the Plank move, get into the traditional plank pose, squeeze your core, and rock forward and back. Rock on your toes, so try to get your shoulders to your wrists when you rock forward, and extend past your original position on your backwards rock. Keep a slow steady pace for 30 seconds if you can hold it. Please remember that proper form is more important than the amount of time you can hold yourself up.
3. Side Plank: This Power of the Plank pose requires you to lay down on your left side with your legs straight. Lift yourself up on your left elbow and forearm, making sure that your elbow is under your shoulder. Lift yourself up, your legs shouldn’t be touching the floor, until you form a straight line from your shoulders down to your ankles. Tighten and flex your muscles especially your core and stare straight ahead. Hold this pose for 30 seconds. Then repeat on your right side.
4. Backward Plank: This Power of the Plank pose will workout your posterior, back, muscles. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, and your palms on the floor behind you, slightly and outside of your hips. Make sure you spread your fingers wide! Lift your hips and chest up toward the ceiling by pressing into your palms. Point your toes forward, and keep your arms straight. Your body should form a straight line from your head down to your heels. Tighten and flex your muscles, especially your core, and be sure to look at the ceiling above you. Try to hold this for 30 seconds.
Note: As you work these Power of the Plank exercises into your routine, increase each one by 15 seconds when you feel ready. You might even try doing a 3 or 4 sets of 30 seconds up and 30 seconds rest for optimal results, and as you build a tolerance for these reps, increase holding the pose by 15 seconds, and keep your rest at 30 seconds. Please remember that proper form is more important than the amount of time you can hold yourself up. You will get better results with quality – not quantity, while doing your Power of the Plank.
To perform at your peak while doing the Power of the Plank, you need to be wearing some supportive high performance gear! The Jack Adams Shape Lifter Brief sports a snug-fit, shaped pouch to help support the family jewels along with high leg openings for optimum mobility. The Flex Racer Brief has a body-conscious fit that is designed for maximum support. Its lightweight mesh material will keep you dry and comfortable. The Bodyflex Mesh Thong has kinetic mesh fabric that is made for high intensity and endurance activities – and is perfect for your Power of the Plank moves. The moisture wicking fabric will keep you drier than most underwear styles. The Ranger 3.0 Jockstrap is highly supportive for both your boys and your butt. The open back allows for extra airflow and increased mobility.
The Pace Training Trunk is the perfect base layer for any training activity. The compression material will have you feeling light and supported throughout your workout. Its stretch fabric and moisture wicking abilities will keep you at the peak of your performance during every workout. The Jack Adams Relay Performance Tank is slim fit and made from a lightweight, breathable dry mesh fabric that will keep you dry during a long workout. Check out these styles in the gallery below!
Do you find these planking tips helpful? How often do you plan on using the Power of the Plank in your gym routine? Let us know in the comments below or send us a tweet at @underwearexpert.
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