Perfect Your Plank

Do you find your body weight pressing you backwards when you are in a plank position or your lower back or neck hurting when you try to perform plank? If so, here are some quick tips for perfecting your plank.

Start on the floor, in a table top position. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, with fingers spread and middle finger facing forward. Line up your nipples with your thumbs. Place your knees directly under your hips. Look in a mirror to your right or left to verify that your form is what you think it is. Curl your toes under and lift your knees one to two inches off of the ground, so your body is hovering in a table top position. Slide one foot back, keeping your leg in line with your hip, and then slide the other leg back, in the same fashion. Again, look in the mirror. You should see a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels. Contract all of the muscles in your mid-section toward your spine and gaze at the floor, approximately 12 inches in front of your finger tips.

Trouble shooting:

Sliding backwards – Shift your weight forward, making sure that your chest is line with your thumbs.

Neck pain – Make sure that you gaze at the ground, in front of your fingertips, so that you maintain a long line in your spine.

Back pain – Lift your hips 1 inch (just one) and pull your belly button to your spine as tightly as you possibly can, as if you are  tightening a belt around your waste or putting on a girdle.

Wrist pain – With all else remaining the same, hold onto a pair of large weights, such that your finger tips face each other, and your knuckles face away from your body.