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How to perform a plank*

Trinidad Express / The plank exercise and many variations of it are frequently performed by individuals aspiring to achieve a strong core, whether in a fitness, sport or rehabilitative setting. In fitness, many are guided by their group instructor or personal trainer into this position. However, I know many of us train on our own or would be new to this exercise and may need reassurance, whether in correct alignment, and indeed be reminded of the value of the plank, called by other names such as hover, front support, prone iso-ab or abdominal bridge. The front plank (on hands or elbows or modified—elbows and knees) is an isometric core-stabilisation strengthening exercise. This exercise targets your core on the whole while simultaneously engaging other muscle groups to stabilise the entire body. The primary target muscle groups include the stabilisation muscles of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC), that is, the transverse abdominus (TVA), multifidus, internal oblique, diaphragm and the muscles of the pelvic floor. It also recruits the rectus abdominus, external oblique, erector spinae (low back), and gluteus maximus, which all aid in the stability of one’s trunk. 

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