Learning and understanding plank progressions is one of the best ways to build core strength without aggravating our lower back. Being able to build core strength while limiting movement that may aggravate out pain is very important and is why the plank is the best way to safely build core strength without aggravating back pain.
The core is more than our ab muscles. Following these 10 plank progressions will take you from standard ab strengthening routine to full body workout. Check them out!
1. Knee Plank
The knee plank is the best place to start for beginners. Goal is to be able to hold for one minute straight. If you’re not there yet, start by accumulating one minute…taking breaks when needed.
2. Elbow Plank
Once you’re able to hold the knee plank for one minute straight, all you have to do is lift up your knees to move to the elbow plank. Same goal applies. Accumulate one minute, taking breaks as needed, until you can hold for one minute straight.
3. Plank Leg Lifts
Incorporate glute activation and rotary core strength with plank leg lifts. Bes sure not to lift the leg to high and avoid twisting of the lower back.
4. The High Plank
The high plank begins to incorporate the entire body (especially the shoulders) into our core strengthening routine. Move from the elbow plank to your hands and accumulate one minute.
5. Plank Knees To Elbows
An intermediate plank progression that begins to incorporate full body movement to challenge core coordination and work other core stabilizers like the obliques. Starting in high plank, bring right knee to right elbow. Repeat on left side.
6. Plank Pull Throughs
Further challenge our shoulder and rotary core strength with plank pull throughs. May need to widen stance to maintain plank position (without rotating of trunk).
7. High Plank Reaches
The most challenging rotary core strength progression. Start with one limb at a time. Advanced by using opposite arm and opposite leg.
8. Quadruped Hold
Moving from the plank to the quadruped position challenges our body in different ways. Try to quadruped hold to build core, shoulder, and hip flexor strength
9. Quadruped Shoulder Touches
Further challenge rotary core and shoulder strength with quadruped shoulder touches. Be sure to avoid rocking side to side when tapping one shoulder.
10. The Bear Crawl
The bear crawl is the most difficult of our plank progressions that incorporates full body strength and coordination. Incorporating crawling patterns into your strength training is a great way to limit impact on our joints and remain pain free.
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Are you new to strength training? Be sure to check out other articles in our Strength Training For Beginners Series to be sure you can build SAFELY build strength – without being in pain.
- The Best Equipment For Your Home Gym
- How To Perform The Hip Hinge
- Five Hip Hinge Mistakes
- Ten Hip Hinge Progressions
- How To Transition From The Hinge To The Lift
- How To Squat Without Pain
- How To Deadlift Without Pain
- Lunging Alternatives For Knee Pain
- Shoulder Movements For Less Shoulder Pain
- Ten Glute Bridge Progressions