PLANKING BASICS

Isometric exercise is a form of exercise in which you execute an isometric muscle contraction.

A PLANK IS AN ISOMETRIC CORE EXERCISE

Fitness enthusiasts, or those who go to the gym, usually hear how important it is to strengthen your core muscles. Your core is composed  of any muscle located between your pelvis and the base of your ribcage. These muscle regions are the abdominal, pelvic and lower back regions.


These three muscle regions work together to support your spine, which is why is it very important to strengthen them. Everyone will benefit from  a strong and healthy core, not just athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Indeed, a strong core is vital to everyone’s well-being. 

WHAT IS AN ISOMETRIC CORE EXERCISE

Isometric exercise is a form of exercise in which you execute an isometric muscle contraction. In an isometric muscle contraction, the muscle exerts force without changing its length. Unlike traditional  exercises like weight lifting which involves lengthening of the muscles, isometric exercises have little or no joint movement. In an isometric core exercise, the core is held in a non-moving or stable position to isolate the targeted muscle. The muscle is then allowed to grow stronger through resistance without movement or pain. 


In an isometric core exercise, the core muscle’s contraction is maintained for the longest period of time that the person can bear. By gradually increasing the resistance, the muscle grows in strength and endurance. 

BENEFITS OF AN ISOMETRIC CORE EXERCISE

Aside from strengthening the core muscles to produce rock solid abs, isometric core exercises will also benefit those people who are suffering from osteoporosis and back pain. Under our external core muscles are the Transverse Abdominis and the Internal Abdominal Obliques. These are the actual core muscles that are structurally deeper and therefore closer to the spine. They play a greater role in having a healthy back and good posture. 


They are also the main support of our abdominal muscles. The deeper of the two is the Transverse Abdominis, which envelops the abdominal muscles and is responsible for stabilizing the trunk and keeping the waist tight. The Internal Abdominal Obliques assist the Transverse Abdominis in stabilizing the trunk. In order for these internal muscles to function properly, they must be strengthened by doing a variety of exercises. Isometric core exercises are a great way to improve core strength. 


Quoted from "'Gut Busting' Isometric Core Exercises." Fallen. (2012, December 24).



PLANKING WITH THE ABMILL PLANK TRAINER

You can plank anywhere with the ABMILL Plank Trainer.

The Basic Plank

 

  1. Kneel down on the floor with the ABMILL Plank Trainer in front of you.
  2. Put your forearms on the pads with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders. You forearms should be shoulder-width apart on the pads. You are in a kneeling position at this point.
  3. Keeping your forearms in place, come off your knees and straighten your legs until only your feet are touching the ground while your forearms and hands are resting on the plank trainer. Your feet are positioned next to each other.
  4. Flatten your back (no sag in the middle), then tighten your glutes and your thigh muscles. Do not look up; keep your eyes and head downward.
  5. Push your heels away from you while keeping the balls of your feet planted (you will feel a stretch in your calf muscles). This is the starting position.
  6. To begin your repetition, push your forearms and elbows down into the ground while simultaneously "pulling" them toward your feet. Your forearms and elbows will not move from their position. This "down and backwards" force is isometric, like pushing against a wall.
  7. At first, try to hold this position with the "down and back force" on the forearms for 10 seconds per repetition. Work  your way up to sustained holds of 30 seconds or more.

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