Exercise of the week is a Brand New weekly feature in which we will describe an exercise and explain exactly what benefits is has on your body.
We can all get stuck in a routine of doing particular exercises, so it's time to try something new.
Have a go of each of Exercises of the Week, for the whole week, to change your routine and work Muscles that you may not have been before.
This week we discuss the plank.
At first glance this exercise looks easy to carry out, but once you get into position you'll find it's a lot harder than it looks.
The plank exercise is a great core workout and is effective in tightening your mid-section and toning your abs.
It's particulary good for people who suffer from back problems and find sit-ups difficult as it has the same benefits of doing these.
The plank targets your core and you build endurance and strength. Through toning your core you are also strengthening your back which is critical for good posture. And as an added bonus you are also strengthening your arms, wrists, and quads.
It resembles the "up" position of a pushup, with your arms extended and your legs straight out behind you. Your body should be in one straight, diagonal line from your head to your heels. Start with holding it for 1o seconds and push yourself to increase the time you hold the pose each time you do it. Even 2 seconds more will make a difference.
There are a few variations to enhance the athletes' performance. One variation is plank pose on the forearms. Instead of keeping wrists under the shoulders, have your elbows under and shoulders width apart. This variation will open an Athlete's shoulder joint. The full expression of the pose is to have the forearms parallel, which only happens if the shoulder joint is clean and open. Holding forearm plank is a great abdominal and shoulder strengthener.
Femalefirst Taryn Davies