If you want to tone your abs, legs, and arms in just a few minutes a day, the table or plank is the ideal exercise.
The plank is one of the most effective exercises for working several muscle groups at once: abs, back, quadriceps, glutes, upper back, shoulders, and arms.
Can anyone do it?
It is ideal for beginners, since it is performed in an isometric way, that is, the position is held instead of pushing, pulling, raising or lowering, thus avoiding injuries. Beginners have a hard time keeping their body upright for even 1 minute, but in the beginning you will do it for a few seconds.
How to start?
To start, lie on your stomach on the floor or a mattress and prop yourself up on your elbows. With both legs extended behind you, flex the soles of your feet. To perform the exercise, press into your toes and push up so that your feet are off the ground and your head is in line with your spine. Imagine creating a straight line from your head to your feet.
If you are a beginner, Start by holding the position for 10 seconds and gradually add another 10 seconds each week. If you have tenderness in the waist, raise the pelvis a little more, so that the body is not completely straight. Perform the exercise at least 3-4 times a week.
Heels and toes should be in line.
focus on belly:
Contract your abdominal muscles by pulling your navel in toward your spine. This helps you stabilize the pelvis.
It is easy to let the shoulders move towards the ears. This movement, however, causes tension in the neck and trapezius muscles. Keep your shoulder blades back and low, away from your neck.
The knees must be straight, but without locking the joint, since it increases the risk of injury. However, to find the correct position, you can first lock your knees for a few moments and then relax them.
Your hips should remain aligned in the center, without turning to one side or the other. A common mistake is to raise the pelvis too high so that the buttocks are in the air because it is easier to maintain the position.
You want to keep your spine in a neutral position, which means your back will maintain its natural S-shape. If you arch your back too much and it “sags,” it puts pressure on the discs.
chest and arm positions:
Your chest should remain open and not “hang.” Bring your hands to your sides so there is no space under your armpits and your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Place both forearms parallel to each other. The palms of the hands can be fists, with the fingers facing each other so that they balance on the side of each forearm, or you can rest them on the floor. Distribute weight evenly in each hand.
Look down with your eyes in line with your hands. Avoid looking straight ahead, as this will overextend your neck and cause tension.
- To make the exercise easier, keep your knees on the ground instead of off the ground. Practice this for a few weeks to strengthen your abs, shoulders, and arms.
- To make it more difficult, do a plank with your arms straight, resting on your palms.
- You can try the side plank, which trains more the adductor and lateral abs. It’s harder on the shoulders, since you’re supporting your body on one arm.