Front Planks

Posted on 12 Dec 2010 20:57

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Exercise Description

Front Planks are a core exercise - which means they target your core muscles: the abdominal muscles and the lower back with the structural supporting muscles kicking in as well. This works the stabilization function of the abdominals and back and a co-contraction of these muscle groups is necessary to maintain the plank position. Front squats, in this way, are also an example of two sides of the body functioning in tandem rather than as agonist/antagonist.

To do this exercise, you basically lie down the floor, prop yourself up on your elbows and toes keeping the rest of your body off the floor. A "pushup" position can also be used instead of the elbows for those with the strength to do so. You must make sure to keep your hips at a reasonably parallel position to the floor - thereby forming a "plank".

Planks are usually done for time. For front squats we normally aim for up to one minute holds before upping the difficulty, as discussed below. However, I am going to try something a bit different.

Weighted front squats can also be performed by either using a weighted vest or a dip belt with weight plates attached. The dip belt is hung from the torso and the body is suspended between two benches or any two appropriate and stable platforms.

Front Plank Video

My Experience

Recently, I've been very pressed for time to complete my workouts so I've had to up the difficulty on this exercise.

Usually, the method of progression ranges from:

  • Both Feet and Elbows on the floor
  • One leg raised
  • Alternate leg raised
  • One arm raised
  • Alternate arm raised
  • Alternate arm and alternate leg raised

Basically, the last difficulty is the most difficult for me. This means that you get into position and then you raise (for example) your right hand and left leg for X minutes and then you quickly switch to raising your left hand and right leg for the same X minutes. This is one set.

Now, what I've come to do is a little combo (note: this is all at one go i.e. one "set"):

30 seconds - Both feet + Arms on the floor
30 seconds - Left Arm + Right Leg off the floor
30 seconds - Both feet + Arms on the floor
30 seconds - Right Arm + Left Leg off the floor
30 seconds - Both feet + Arms on the floor

That's 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

So far this is where I have reached.

I think doing this for 5 minutes straight will be a real challenge and I am going to try to get it sometime soon.

This page created 12 Dec 2010 20:57
Last updated 26 Feb 2015 17:37

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