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Pilates Exercise: The Plank

Pilates Exercise: The Plank

The Plank exercise is well-known. It has become part of many workout routines as it is excellent for developing core strength.

The Plank mainly exercises the abdominal muscles and shoulders. It is a very effective workout for the whole body - the arms, glutes and legs are all working hard to keep the body stable. Whilst it looks like part of a traditional push up, the Plank is less strenuous on the upper body.

Step 1: Preparation

To begin the Plank exercise, kneel down on your exercise mat. Place both hands on the floor in front of you with your fingers pointing out straight forward. Your arms should be straight, but your elbows not locked.

Lean forward and shift your weight onto your hands. Your shoulders should end up above your wrists.

Step 2: The Extension

Keep your abdominals lifted. Step your feet back so that your legs become straight, pointing out behind you. Keep them held together - there shouldn't be a gap between your legs.

Try to curl your toes under so that some weight is on the balls of your feet. Do not clench any muscles. You should feel that your whole body is working to keep you stable and in a nice straight line.

Hold your position and breath deeply for 5 to 10 good breaths then take a break. Repeat the exercise upto 5 times.


Equipment Needed

The only thing you really need for the Plank is the floor. However, if you're looking for a little more comfort we'd recommend using a good exercise mat. It takes the pressure off your knees, hands and toes a little whilst exercising.

And whilst not absolutely necessary, you may feel more comfortable in a pair of pilates socks. We'd recommend our pilates toe socks for a pilates workout including the Plank. The grips on the toes will stop your feet slipping backwards during your exercise.

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