How To Do A Prone Plank

1. HEAD POSITION : The head should be held in neutral position, by looking between your hands on the floor, rather than looking forward, which would place excessive strain on the neck, as would holding the head too low, by tucking the chin.

* This exercise becomes an excellent neck strengthener, especially for people recovering from a neck injury, because you are strengthening the alignment that you want, along with the neck stabilizers.

2. FOREARMS & WRISTS – in neutral. This means your hands are flat on the floor, which minimizes stress on the wrist and forearms.

3. ELBOWS – at 90 degrees, where they are strongest. Also, directly under the shoulder, or preferably just slightly behind the shoulder, so there is less stress on the shoulder joint.

* If the elbow is too high, that places excessive stress on the shoulder joint.

4. PULL DOWN with the hands and forearms to activate their latissimus dorsi and scapular muscles.

5. SHOULDER BLADES – I cue by saying ‘shoulders down’. If we were standing, the meaning of that cue would be obvious, but now we are horizontal, perhaps you will find it easier to think of it as ‘shoulders backward’. What I’m getting at, is we never let the shoulders bunch up, always keep the shoulder blades down.

6. HIPS – must not be too high or low. We want the spine to be as close to neutral position, as possible. If I place a broomstick over the spine, there should be three primary points of contact : back of the head, thoracic spine ( between the shoulder blades ), and coccyx ( bottom of the spine )

7. GLUTEALS : I teach my clients to tense their glutes ( backside muscles ). This activates the glutes, protects the lower back by bracing the abdominals, and to a lesser extent, begins activating the serratus anterior and obliques. These are all problem areas in sedentary individuals that must be reactivated with various exercises.

8. KNEES – are straight, but not hyper-extended.

9. FEET – In line with the hip joint, but no wider

10. ANKLES – dorsi-flexed to 90 degrees, so that you are supported on the pads of the toes


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