Plank It Up, Little Darlin’

Sing with me, “Plank it up, little darlin’. Plank it up…” This simple, no-equipment needed exercise is a game changer when it comes to spinal health, core strength, a flat belly, better posture, reduced back pain, and more muscle definition—just to name a few benefits.

Even though it’s a held position, plank is very dynamic and requires the activation of several muscle groups from head to toe. When doing plank position, please keep in mind:

  • Your wrists and elbows should be directly under your shoulders.
  • You will reach the crown of your head forward, with your chin slightly tucked and your neck long, as you press your heels backward.
  • Your belly is engaged as if you are wearing a corset and all your energy is coming in toward your center line.
  • You will want to tuck in your tailbone so that your bottom is inline with your spine.
  • Your spine is straight creating a downward sloping line from the top of your head to your heels.
  • (NOTE: For side plank, the same tips apply. You will just rotate your body’s position 90 degrees left or right.)

For my BitchFit clients, I devised a ~5 minute plank workout. Here’s how you can do it at home:

  • STEP 1: Run through a Sun Salutation A, ending in plank pose.
  • STEP 2: Inhale in plank pose, exhale transition to side plank pose (right side).
  • STEP 3: Use your inhales to lift your left leg up (in line with your right leg), and exhales to lower your left leg back down to meet your right leg for a total of 5-10 reps. (Note: Modification is to lower your right knee to the mat.)
  • STEP 4: Inhale, return to plank pose. Exhale, remain here.
  • STEP 5: Repeat STEP 2-3 on the left side.
  • STEP 6: Inhale, return to plank pose. Exhale, remain here.
  • STEP 7: Inhale, tap your right hand to your left shoulder.
  • STEP 8: Exhale, plank pose.
  • STEP 9: Inhale, tap your left hand to your right shoulder.
  • STEP 10: Exhale, to Downward Facing Dog.
  • STEP 11: Repeat STEP 7-10 for 5-10 reps.
  • STEP 12: Inhale, into plank pose.
  • STEP 13: Exhale, to Downward Facing Dog.
  • STEP 14: Inhale, right hand to left shin.
  • STEP 15: Exhale, to Downward Facing Dog.
  • STEP 16: Inhale, left hand to right shin.
  • STEP 17: Repeat STEP 12-16 for 5-10 reps.
  • STEP 18: End in Child’s Pose.

—Becca Edwards, founder of Female IQ

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