FOUNDATION TRAINING is my passion! I firmly believe anyone who practices FOUNDATION TRAINING will have a stronger body including a very strong core, better posture and balance, less back pain, and overall improved health.
You still have to workout though. FOUNDATION TRAINING is the ultimate accessory to any training technique you use. Today, let’s talk planks.
The core is the absolute most important part of the body, in my opinion. If the core is weak…imbalances and injury are close behind.
What exactly is the core? I consider the core to be pretty much any muscle below the rib cage and above the knee…front and back side of the body that attaches to the pelvis. These muscles need to be long, strong, and be able to stabilize when called upon. When any these muscle are tight and/weak improper movement in pelvic area will happen leading to imbalances and pain.
I practice FT exercise daily…usually a short 10-15 minute session in the morning. Then thru the day I”ll take a minute and just do a decompression breath of a Founder….hits the spot every time!
I also still do short total body workouts and always include planks for my core. I have listed a few basic plank exercises below. Add planks to you exercise routine…make sure your form is correct. Planks, also work a lot of the shoulder area. So, if you are new to planking…start slow and build up!
In the bottom left hand corner click on Foundation Training. This will take you straight to their website where you can order the book or DVD. The DVD is very easy to learn from. Contact me with any questions you may have. Have a healthy day and a healthy body.
These basic planks will form the foundation of all the other moves on this list. Get these down first, and as your strength, balance, and endurance improves, move on to the more challenging variations.
1. Standard Plank (High Plank)
When it comes to planks, form is everything. Paying close attention to form not only ensures you’ll get a great workout, but also that you’re protecting your body from injury. Start in tabletop position, kneeling on the floor with hands directly below your shoulders. Lift your knees until you are supporting your weight on just your toes and hands. (As if you are, you know, a plank!). Spread your fingers to make a wide, stable base. Line up your shoulders over your hands and heels over toes. Hold your body in a straight line from the top of your head down to your heels. Hold your core in tight, being careful not to let your stomach sag or your back round out.
2. Rocking Plank
From a basic plank, rock forward on your toes until your shoulders move past your hands. Then push your shoulders backward until your heels extend beyond your toes. Move slowly and in a controlled manner to challenge your balance, coordination, and shoulder strength. This move can be done on your hands or forearms.
3. Knee Plank:
If holding a basic plank is too difficult, try lowering your knees to the floor. Keep your back straight and core tight—imagine drawing your bellybutton to your spine (rather than sucking in your stomach). Practice holding it until you can work up to a full standard plank.
4. Plank With Shoulder Touches
From a standard plank position, reach your right hand to touch your left shoulder. Put it back down and repeat with your left hand tapping your right shoulder. Even though you’re basically doing the Macarena, do not let your hips sway side to side as you move. If it helps, imagine a glass of water (or a margarita!) resting on your back. This will keep the focus on a tight and stable core.
5. Side Plank
Starting in standard plank position, bring your legs together until your heels touch. Lean to your left while lifting your right arm up toward the ceiling until you are balanced on one hand.
6. Forearm Plank (Low Plank)
Starting from standrd plank position, lower yourself until you’re resting on your forearms. Keep forearms parallel to each other with hands flat on the ground or clasped together if that’s more comfortable.
7. Reverse Plank
Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you and arms at your sides. Place hands on the floor next to your hips, fingers pointing towards your feet. Lift your hips as high as you can, aiming for a straight line from chin to toes. You may discover here that your shoulders aren’t as flexible as you thought; just take it slow. And, you know, try not to cry.
8. TRX Plank
Adjust the TRX straps so that they’re approximately 12 inches from the ground. Face away from the TRX and kneel down. Place your feet in the toe loops. (There’s no graceful way to do this—however you get them in without falling on your face is fine!) Crawl forward until your body is extended and ready for plank position. Place your hands or forearms on the floor in front of you. Lift your knees up so your body is in a straight line.
9. Crouching Hover Plank
Begin in tabletop position on your hands and knees. Keeping your core tight, back straight, and legs bent (at a 90-degree angle), lift your knees off the ground. You are now balancing on your hands and toes. Crouching tiger, hidden abs?