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Friday, April 10, 2015

Want Strong Abs? Check Out The Plate Plank

Core core core core core.  It seems like the focus of every exercise you try these days is a core exercise.  It’s not your imagination. In response to a near epidemic of lower back, hip and knee injuries (even upper body muscle groups are effected), researchers are finding that the best defense against these injuries is good flexibility, mobility, and a healthy core.

For all the focus that core exercise has gotten in recent years, few people understand what is truly meant when an exercise is referred to as a “core” exercise.  If you’re visualizing your abdominal area right now, you hit the target….sort of.  Abdominals are only a part of what is considered core musculature. The term “core” really applies to every muscle from your arm pits to your knees.  If you think about it; that’s a lot of muscle groups. The important thing to remember is that because muscles and fascia are interconnected, it is almost impossible to completely isolate only one muscle to the extent that no other muscle is involved in a given movement.  Take the plate plank (below) for instance. While you can easily see the muscular recruitment of the abdominal area, take a look at what is happening with the shoulders, the pecs, the triceps, glutes and quadriceps. It is deceiving but this is really a total body exercise.

 Here’s how to do it:

1)  Take a 25 pound weight plate and balance it on its rim or, side.  Then kneel in front of it.

2)  While balancing the plate on its rim, grab the weight by placing hands on the top of the plate’s rim with hands at the 11:00 and 1:00 positions-keeping arms perfectly straight. Try to keep the wrists as straight as possible also; without losing your balance-do not flex your wrists excessively.

3)  Keeping shoulders in line over elbows and wrists, and with arms still straight, extend one leg behind you until it’s     perfectly straight. Slowly and deliberately extend the second leg back to meet the first leg.  Hold both legs perfectly straight in the "plank" position.


4)  Keeping gluteal and abdominal muscles tightly contracted, and with a neutral pelvis, hold this position for a minimum of 30 seconds. Over time, slowly build up time held until you can hold the position for 120 seconds. 


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Fitness expert and strength coach Jini Cicero, CSCS, teaches intermediate exercisers how to blast through plateaus to create incredible transformations. Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level?  Find out now!© 2015 Jinifit, Inc.

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