Plank is one of the best all round exercises that you can do during the holidays. It will not take up a lot of your time and is quiet simple to do.
Be sure to warm up before doing the plank. See the blog on stretches for ideas on how to warm up. Warming up helps the body prepare for exercises. It can also prevent you from injuring yourself. So it is well worth doing some form of warm up.
Set yourself up as shown in the photo below
- Forearms at 90 degree angle with upper arm, elbows under shoulders
- Lower back supported with slight posterior tilt of pelvis
- Neck long, shoulder blades pulled back
- Feet together, legs squeezing together
- Abdominals active
- Fore arms pressing down underneath you
Hold the position until failure (until you can`t hold any longer). Give yourself a target for example: hold for 45 seconds and then 1 minute. The stronger you get the longer you must try to hold it.
The pyramid is a more advanced version of the plank and should only be attempted once good form is achieved in the plank.
Set yourself up as in the picture below
- Arms are straight and about 30cm in front of your shoulders
- It is a similar position to the downward dog in Yoga BUT the difference is that we are not trying to get the bottom too high.
- Press the floor away with your hands and your feet almost like you want to split your mat in half
- Shoulders are wide, neck is free from tension
- Abdominals are tight
- Heels are stretching away to the floor
- Have a feeling of defying gravity and feeling light as a feather
Hold until failure (up to the point when you cannot hold it any longer). Set a target for yourself for example; hold for 45 seconds and then move up to 1 minute etc. etc.
Take care of your neck in both these exercises. If your neck takes strain rather stick to the plank and do the exercise for a shorter period. Form can make or break an exercise so please take care of your every move. See other blogs for ideas on neck stretches and spinal warm ups.