Today we’d like to introduce you to the Power Plank Exercise.
The Plank exercise has been a fitness industry standard for decades now, and for good reason. It is a tremendous exercise for developing stability and strength endurance in the core and shoulder complex.
Traditionally, planks are progressed either by making the exercise less stable (lifting a foot or elbow off the floor) or simply increasing the time the plank is held.
This has led some people and coaches to hold planks for 8 minutes or more per set.
This begs the questions about how much strength endurance is actually needed for these muscle groups, and if there are any potential downsides to these extended sets.
In brief, we feel that few people need that much endurance in that particular position, and that there is potential strain on the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the shoulder.
Enter The Power (or High Intensity) Plank
We’ve got to give credit for this concept to Pavel Tsatsouline and his Strong First crew. This version is commonly referred to as The RKC Plank.
The general idea is to train the Power Plank Exercise with full contraction of your entire body. The more you put into this exercise, the more you’ll get out of it.
Check out the video below, and then the key bullet points that follow:
- Full contraction of all muscles in your body
- Squeeze glutes, and tuck them under slightly
- Drive your elbows into the floor, and towards your toes
- Drive your toes into the floor and upwards toward your elbows
- Put a small ball or foam roller between your legs just above your knees – squeeze hard
- Perform 4-6 sets of 10s on/20s off
Try out the Power Plank Exercise and let us know if you love it (or not) 😉