Plank Pose tones all of the core muscles of the body, including the abdomen, chest, and low back. It doesn’t stop there though – like Pilates, plank pose just never stops giving.
Plank Pose will also strengthen your wrists and hands, giving those intrinsic muscles the strength and stamina to play racket sports or open a jar. It will also help you combat those flabby arms we all dread by giving your triceps a solid workout.
Planking will strengthen and lengthen those neck muscles too, helping to counteract ‘text neck’ and developing a graceful posture through our upper body. We often forget that engaging our core also means engaging our spinal muscles. Strong spinal extensors can help alleviate low back pain. Our gluteus muscles should also be turned on during Plank Pose to help maintain neutral hip position and build the booty we deserve.
Traditionally we think of the humble plank as a floor exercise but a whole new world opens up when you move it to the reformer. The varying resistance of the springs means that the core challenge can be progressed gradually: a heavier spring applied to the carriage will challenge lower limb extension as the carriage is pushed away, but generally reduce the challenge to the trunk. By gradually decreasing the spring resistance over time, you can progressively increase the challenge to the trunk and eccentric control of the hip & knee flexion component as the carriage returns.
Plank to Pike combo as demonstrated by Christine in the video below, seriously works your core and abdominal muscles, as well as your upper body. Even your hamstrings get a good stretch too, helping to undo all that sitting we generally do during our day. It really requires you to squeeeeeeze your abs and use your core to pull your lower body into the pike position.
Is there anything Pilates can’t do?