On the 9th of January I invited our practice members to join me in a Plank Challenge on our facebook page! This was inspired by the new year (as so many things are at the beginning of the year!) and a desire to do something together.
The plank is a wonderful functional exercise that builds core strength. This in turn helps to improve our posture which is vital to the health of our nervous system. The nervous system is the controlling system of the body – every organ, tissue and cell relies on functioning signal from the nervous system to perform its tasks. Interference of nervous system signal – what we term a chiropractic subluxation – affects the optimum functioning of our bodies and thereby our general health and well-being. So good posture contributes to a healthy nervous system which means you are healthier!
So back to the plank!
I started the challenge in the full length position with my arms straight – this is quite a challenge! What was wonderful was the support and comments I received and I had to think about a few questions that were asked.
Shouldn’t I be doing this on my elbows? Asked one of my friends.
Yes – this is more difficult and I will do the challenge again in this position! I wanted to start where I was comfortable – with the hope of actually completing the challenge. But this does raise the point of being aware of body position while in the plank position.
- Your neck should be in a neutral position, keep the chin slightly tucked to extend the back of the neck to reduce strain.
- You should be able to place a rod along the spine and the back of your head, between your shoulders and your bum should all touch the rod. If you’re doing the plank on your elbows this line should be parallel to the floor.
- The legs should be straight, don’t bend the knees with the feet perpendicular to the ground the heels shouldn’t tilt in or out.
- Common mistakes include dropping the pelvis down, arching the back or sticking the bum in the air. Holding the stomach muscles by drawing the belly button towards the spine helps to prevent these from happening.
- My challenge to you is to join us – for 28 days do a plank, you don’t have to follow the times, do what your body can cope with. Enjoy the feeling of doing something consistently for a period of time. Post on the Facebook page and let us know how you’re doing.
28 Day Plank Challenge
1&2 20 sec
3&4 30 sec
5 40 sec
7&8 45 sec
9&10&11 1 min
12 90 sec
14&15 90 sec
16&17 120 sec
18 150 sec
20&21 150 sec
22&23 180 sec
24 210 sec
26 210 sec
27 240 sec
28 as long as you can