Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Confused about planks

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    If you can't do forearms on the ground (too hard to maintain), place your forearms up on the side of your tub, if you have one. That's a good two feet of elevation. It'll take some of the weight off when you're just starting out with the plank and give you the same benefits of not stressing your wrists.
    August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

    I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

    Comment


    • #17
      Actually, doing planks on forearms is more challenging to the core.

      To make planks accessible, start by doing them on something like a chair (i.e. hands holding onto the side edges of a chair, or a stair, a bench... you get the idea) where the shoulders are lower than they would be when standing, but higher than the floor. When that becomes too easy, move down to a lower stair/chair/bench or do straight arm planks. If your wrists bother you, use dumbells (preferably hex so you're leaning on a flat surface, but round ones are fine so long as you pay attention) so that your wrists are neutral (i.e. you're holding the db in your hands, the db are on the floor and your body is in plank position); alternatively, you could make your hands into fists (instead of open hands) and lean on your knuckles instead.

      Then progress to forearm planks. if you can do forearm planks from the get go, more power to you! Also, in that video, that woman's butt is WAY up in the air. Your body should be STRAIGHT from shoulders to heels... this is what makes it so hard

      Hope that helps, Griff

      Comment


      • #18
        lolov: I've *tried* doing the planks the way you say. My wrists will simply not take it. They buckle, even with the use-dumbbells idea.
        Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

        Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


        Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

        My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by lolov View Post
          Also, in that video, that woman's butt is WAY up in the air. Your body should be STRAIGHT from shoulders to heels... this is what makes it so hard
          Unfortunately, that screen capture is right at the part where she shows how NOT to do the planks -- so her butt is in the air. (And note at the top of the screen where the text at the top says not to do it like that.) Her form is good otherwise.

          I also question that the forearm version is more difficult. (?) My physical therapist started me out this way, on forearms, fresh out of the hospital. I'm pretty sure if the hands option were easier, that's what he would have had me doing, given my state at the time.
          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

          Comment


          • #20
            The forearm version is more difficult for the core muscles, which is the point of the exercise. The hand version is more difficult for the arms and wrists. For me at least the hand version doesn't do anything for my core muscles, it just makes my arms hurt.
            Height: 5'4" (1.62 m)
            Starting weight (09/2009): 200 lb (90.6 kg)
            No longer overweight (08/2010): 145 lb (65.6 kg)
            Current weight (01/2012): 127 lb (57.5 kg)

            Comment


            • #21
              1. congrats for working on your fitness Griff.
              2. Core work is key. Planks are a great start.
              3. The wrists thing - the fact that your wrist joint cannot currently support your upper body weight is an indication you need to work on that - maybe do hand-planks on an incline like a chair, and the forearm planks as described. The joints do become much stronger (and they need to= that's what Mark means when he talks about healthy stressors).
              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Griff View Post
                lolov: I've *tried* doing the planks the way you say. My wrists will simply not take it. They buckle, even with the use-dumbbells idea.
                can you explain? when you do the plank on your elbows / forearms then your wrist should be relaxed, no? http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ACIpPvrdla...2a-plank-l.jpg
                http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

                Comment


                • #23
                  Still gotta do it man, everything hurts at the beginning, that's part of getting stronger. Do the forearm version (I never even knew planks were done any other way until this thread, you elevate yourself too much on your hands for your core to do any work) but you have to get your wrists up to speed so get on your knees and apply gentle pressure to your wrists by playing with how much weight you place on them and do this for time. 30 seconds every day or every couple of hours, this is important.
                  I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Griff View Post
                    lolov: I've *tried* doing the planks the way you say. My wrists will simply not take it. They buckle, even with the use-dumbbells idea.
                    Ahhh sorry Griff, I must have missed that bit So you're saying you can't do the adjusted plank using a chair or stair? Then start higher (ie. higher stair, back of chair, etc.) or, if your wrists won't handle that, try forearm planks but instead of on your toes, start on your knees (I hope I read correctly that forearm planks don't bother your wrists!)

                    If that doesn't work, then maybe do some googling/asking about how to strengthen your wrists first. I have one wonky wrist, but I can work around it. I'm sure there are exercises you can do to strengthen them (I'm thinking of forearm exercises like the one - I can't remember the name... not enough coffee yet! - where you hold a db or bb in your hand(s) and simply rotate the wrists up and down (i.e. not in a circle)... seems that might help strengthen the wrists, but maybe I'm off base on that one

                    Maybe as Al Kavadlo? He seems to be incredibly well-versed on all things fitness/strength!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Mirrorball View Post
                      The forearm version is more difficult for the core muscles, which is the point of the exercise. The hand version is more difficult for the arms and wrists.
                      +1

                      Originally posted by lolov View Post

                      Maybe as Al Kavadlo? He seems to be incredibly well-versed on all things fitness/strength!
                      Thanks!

                      As has been mentioned, doing a plank on a high angle is easier for your abs than doing them on the ground, which is why the elbow plank is harder on the core muscles. I would suggest starting on an angle with short holds (5-10 seconds) and gradually building to longer holds from there over the course of several weeks. The only way to get better is to push yourself through the discomfort.

                      I did a blog about planks and side planks a while back that might be helpful for some of you (though probably not so much for the OP - sorry, Griff).
                      "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                      "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                      My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I have the opposite problem with planks: toes. They need to be able to take your weight while bending back, and one big toe *really* doesn't like doing that. I think the two joints were damaged by a bunion or something - anyway, putting my weight on it in plank or push-up position hurts beyond tolerable, so I end up trying to carry most of my weight on the other leg, and everything goes south from there.

                        Any suggestions?
                        Anyone managed to heal this kind of toe thing?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          The plank is a useful exercise but IMO is not as effective as an injury-proofing exercise as most coaches will have you think. Maintaining posture is often a result of static/isometric strength in the core (which should rightly include every muscle of the torso and not just abs, obliques and lower back). Therefore, an exercise that improves your ability to maintain this strength is good. This makes the plank a good exercise.

                          However, most of us encounter injury and general postural weakness during standing positions. The mechanics and musculo-skeletal demands of a standing posture and the plank are quite different. And, in practical terms, being able to maintain a strong postural position whilst moving is normally of paramount importance.

                          I would recommend supplementing with standing rotations, suitcase and regular deadlifts and OH squats.

                          Not knocking the plank as a starting point but it needs to be seen as part of an overall plan.
                          Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports
                          Sandbag Training Guide on Kindle
                          The Complete Guide To Sandbag Training
                          Brute Force Sandbags
                          www.facebook.com/sandbagfitness
                          http://fitedia.com/ - Health and Fitness eBooks, video, audio and workshops

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Thor Falk View Post
                            can you explain? when you do the plank on your elbows / forearms then your wrist should be relaxed, no? http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ACIpPvrdla...2a-plank-l.jpg
                            Right, I'm talking about when I do them the way that Mark demonstrates on the hands, not on the forearms.
                            Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                            Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


                            Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

                            My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              If Griff is having a main issues with wrist strength, let's forget about plank variations and target the wrists to start getting them up to strength. I suggest winding/unwinding exercises. This is something you can make with spare objects around your home.

                              Here's a video (I didn't make it) of what I'm talking about. At 3:30 is the exercise I'm referring to.



                              The best idea, I think, to building strength in your wrists with this exercise is to tie an old milk jug by the handle to the end of the rope instead of a dumbbell. As you get stronger, fill the jug with more water until your wrists are strong enough to handle the planks/push-ups, etc.

                              As has been said, discomfort is normal when you are exercising, especially a new exercise. Stick with it and you will be rewarded!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Now that I am thinking about it, I was started out even more modified -- on my knees (as opposed to toes) and forearms. Now, THIS is easier.

                                Here is a video for you Griff:

                                "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X