“Some of the most simple exercises can also be the most effective when working towards personal fitness goals — the key is to always make sure that you’re doing them correctly.
“An example of a simple — yet very beneficial — move is the plank. Planks work to strengthen the core, which is made up of muscles and connective tissues of the lumbar spine, pelvic girdle and hip joint, which constitutes the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex.
“There are two ways of doing this exercise: the bent arm and straight arm plank. Often times I’m asked which one is more difficult. When it comes down to it, the bent arm plank is harder, which to some may come as a surprise.
“Both exercises require that you stabilize the shoulder girdle and hold the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex in an isometric position (where the joint and muscle are held in a static position). The bent arm plank, however, requires that you hold the isometric position resting on your elbows while maintaining greater stability in the hip region, through abdominal and glute activation and stabilization.
“It’s very important that the person performing the exercise is especially careful not to allow the back to sag down towards the floor, or to position the buttock region too high in the air. When done properly, your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
“Over time, the plank can improve your posture, stabilize your spine and hips, and even improve your mood by lowering stress.”
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