Plank Walkup/Up and down plank/”machines”
This week I want to shout out core strength- it is a huge component of every movement we do, in sport and in daily life, and there are many variations that can be easily done with little to no equipment.
This exercise is a variation on the traditional plank, and incorporates dynamic movement to emphasize core stability.
(#1) To begin, start in a high plank, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your upper and lower body in a straight line, with your pelvis tucked underneath you.
(#2,3) Lower one elbow to the floor, then the other, so you are lowering yourself from hands to elbows one arm at a time, arriving in low plank position. (#4)
(#5) From here, place one palm onto the floor, then the other, pressing back up into high plank. (#6) Make sure you are alternating right and left arm lowering and pushing back up each rep (lower your right arm, then left, then push up with right, then left).
The key here is to maintain core engagement throughout the entire exercise, and not allowing your pelvis to tilt side to side as you move from high to low and back to high plank. In order to prevent your hips from tilting or swaying, your core needs to be engaged and stabilizing throughout the entire movement sequence. Controlled and steady movement is the goal, and you will get more out of it by moving at a slower pace with greater control than quickly with sloppy form.
This exercise is a favorite because it requires this core stabilization while you are working through a dynamic movement, which is great practice for the movements we do in daily life and sport, including posture, lifting and carrying, running, cross country and downhill skiing.
This movement is a great addition to your core set at the end of a workout, or as an arm strengthening exercise that incorporates core emphasis. Measure by reps (ex: 5 each arm) or for time. Aim to move with consistent pace and maintain good form, trying not to have extended pauses in high or low plank but with continuous movement while maintaining core stability.
To modify this exercise, you can:
-move through the same range of motion but with your knees on the floor, this will still allow you to have dynamic movement with greater control
-hold static high plank, this position is great for maintaining core stability while pushing through your arms