Sunday, August 14, 2011

Exercise of the Week - Side Plank


Side plank is a very effective core stability exercise and it activates the obliques. You need to position yourself onto your sides, stacking your left foot on top of the right and resting your right forearm on the floor with your palms resting on the floor.
Please note that you are maintaining a neutral spine in this position and then lifting your side from the ground. The position challenges you to maintain a neutral spine while you are balancing your body weight on your right forearm and on the side of foot.
Make sure that the supporting hand is directly under your shoulder and you maintain an ‘open chest posture’ at all times. You are maintaining a neutral spine and the shoulders are relaxed so you don’t feel unwanted tension on your neck. Another important parameter is that you have to keep your hip in line with your spine, the moment you drop your hip the purpose of the exercise is lost.

Stages of Progression

Beginner


In this level, please note that you balancing yourself on your forearm and on the side of your knee. The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.
·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder


Intermediate


In this level, please note that you are balancing yourself on your forearm and on the side of your knee.
 The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.
·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder
Advanced


In the advanced level, you are balancing your side on your palm. Your balancing arm is extended and in line with your shoulder.
The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.
·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder

Performance meter
·         Individuals with shoulder injuries need to progress with caution or at their own pace.
·         Breathe at a normal pace and avoid holding your breath.



Frank Mapranny, 
HOD Fitness, 
Your Fitness club

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