Exercise plank is an elbow posture with a tense press, muscles of the body and muscles of the back of the thigh. The main task of the bar is to maintain the correct position for the maximum amount of time - beginners start from 20-30 seconds, reaching a minute or more.
The technique of exercise plank involves the development of the ability to consciously strain the press, while maintaining a normal breathing rhythm. The result of regular performance of the bar is to strengthen the internal muscles of the body and improve posture.
// How to make the bar right?
The elbow strap is one of the most important static exercises for developing the internal muscles of the abdominal press. Its fundamental difference from dynamic exercises on the press (for example, from twisting and from lifting the legs) is that it does not require movement. It is necessary to stay in position for a certain amount of time without making repetitions.
Despite its apparent simplicity, the bar is really effective and is considered one of the best exercises for the press, as well as in a simple way to improve posture. At the same time, the execution technique plays a decisive role - if you do not know how to make the bar correctly, you do not pump up the press at all, but rather harm your spine and provoke back pain.
In the case of beginners, a beginner's bar is needed to develop the ability to engage the internal muscles of the abdomen in work. This allows you to consciously strain the press while performing ordinary dynamic exercises - which positively affects their effectiveness. Among other things, the bar involves the buttocks in the work and serves as an excellent addition to the exercises for the gluteal muscles.
// The benefits of exercise plank:
- develops internal abdominal muscles
- strengthens the muscles of the diaphragm
- improves posture
- reduces waist circumference
- allows you to quickly achieve cubes on the press
Plank - on the elbows or with outstretched arms?
On the one hand, the bar on outstretched arms (the exercise resembles the upper position in push-ups from the floor) is easier for beginners - on the other hand, it is easier for beginners to follow the correct technique when doing the bar on the elbows. The role is played by the fact that when resting on the elbows, the load is distributed more evenly, allowing you to focus on the work of the press.
The correct implementation of the exercise strap develops the internal muscles of the abdomen, making the press tightened and embossed. Separately, we note that, like any other press exercises, the bar does not burn a significant amount of calories and is not suitable for losing weight or getting rid of fat on the abdomen. In addition, dynamic exercises are needed to draw cubes - including twisting.
What does the bar give?
First of all, the bar provides an improvement in the sense of balance - especially when performing variations with alternately raising legs. If the correct technique is followed, the exercise teaches you to engage the various muscles of the body, significantly strengthening the muscle corset - remember that when you are standing on your elbows, you need to keep the press in maximum tension.
Also, the strap makes the abdominal muscles more tightened and elastic - which clearly affects the general appearance of the body. Performing the bar daily in 3-4 sets of 30-60 seconds, you can achieve the result in a week. The effect will be especially pronounced when the strap is alternated with a breathing exercise, the vacuum in the abdomen - it, in turn, strengthens the diaphragm and makes the waist narrower.
I make the bar a month, according to the program, today the second day of the second month has gone, the result is unrealistic, the cubes have appeared, the oblique muscles of the abdomen stand out.
How to learn to make a bar?
To perform the exercise, the bar with the correct technique needs to stay in the elbow or arm position, maintaining a normal breathing rhythm and feeling the tension of the muscles of the press, hips, arms and chest. It is recommended to start the exercise with the easiest variation on outstretched arms and the “30-60 sec. Bar + 30-60 sec. Of rest” mode, doing 3-4 repetitions of the cycle in total.
It is necessary not only to strive to constantly increase the time spent in the bar (or to move to a more complex variation), but first of all pay attention to whether you are doing this exercise correctly or not. It is important to constantly remember that improper performance of the bar can easily cause the development of chronic pain in the neck, back and lower back.
Types of Exercise Plank
There are many variations of the bar exercise - it can be done both on outstretched arms and on the elbows. The more complex types include the side bar and the bar with alternate raising of the legs, and the most complex types - with twisting, as well as pulling the knee to the chest. In more detail about types in planks we told in a material about home exercises on a press .
1. Strap on outstretched arms
The lightest (in terms of muscle load) variation of the bar. Take a stationary position, tighten the press, maintain a normal breathing rhythm. The look is in front of you.
2. The elbows
This variation gives less strain on the wrists, but increases the involvement of the abs and upper back muscles. Proper technique implies that the tailbone is looking back.
3. Elbows with legs raised
Alternating leg lift significantly increases the load on the lower press . First linger for 30-40 seconds in the bar, then do 5-10 lifts with each foot. Keep your abdominal muscles tense.
4. Side bar
Tightening the muscles of the press, lift the pelvis up, pulling the body in line. Make sure that the buttocks do not lead the body back, upsetting the balance. Optionally may include twisting (upper arm to lower elbow).
Plank Exercise Program
The key rule for the implementation of the bar is the conscious involvement of the press in the work. At runtime, you must visualize the tension of the abdominal muscles, imagining that it is it, and not the back, that holds the body upright. In addition, it is important to maintain a normal breathing rhythm without holding air in the lungs.
Girls are encouraged to start making the lighter strap on outstretched arms, and men - to start with a more complex variation based on elbows. Also, for the correct execution of the bar, you will need a timer or a watch located in front of your eyes on the floor.
// How much to keep the bar:
- Beginners: 15 seconds x 3 sets
- Advanced: 30 seconds x 3-4 sets
- Pros: 60 seconds x 4-5 sets
How NOT to do the bar
Typical mistakes when performing the bar exercise are the excessive lifting of the buttocks upwards, as well as the creation of excessive loads on the shoulders and wrists. The correct technique involves a slight “twisting” of the pelvis, in which the coccyx goes backwards - this transfers the load from the lower back and back to the abdominal muscles. The gaze is directed in front of you, the neck does not break up.
It is also important to press the shoulders to the body as much as possible, involving the muscles of the upper back and pectoral muscles - the spine is straight, the chest is open and looks forward rather than down. If you are a beginner and carry out the bar on outstretched arms, also pay attention to evenly distribute the weight on the entire surface of the palm, and not just press on the wrist.
In case you experience any back pain (especially in its lower part), perform the bar exercise under the supervision of a personal trainer who can adjust your technique. Also, additional accuracy when performing the bar will be required for those who had injuries of the spine, shoulder or elbow joints, as well as wrists.
Remember that despite the fact that the bar is an effective exercise to improve posture and strengthen the muscles of the abs, even the smallest mistakes in its implementation can lead to the development of chronic pain in the neck and back. Whenever possible, always try to personally consult with a trainer to make sure that you are fulfilling the bar correctly or not.
A tightened and embossed abdomen requires both the development of the rectus abdominal muscle with the help of twisting and other dynamic abdominal exercises, as well as the development of internal abdominal muscles with stationary (static) exercises. The best such exercise is the bar. However, the right plank technique plays a crucial role in achieving the result.