Fitness Trainer Magazine

Fitness Trainer October/November 2016

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Page 29 of 35

It all comes down to stabilizing By Kaylee Cahoon lank is rightfully a popu- lar exercise in the world of fitness, but quite often more harm than good can come from it. Good plank positioning is es- sential in developing a well bal- anced body and virtually every advancing exercise progression will utilize one or more of the stabilizing actions employed in the plank. However, finding a good plank position requires great body awareness and in my opinion, should not be held by someone until they can activate and stabilize these three essen- tial areas. 1. Shoulder Girdle Stabilization: Watch that the humeral head is moving toward the scapula and not away from it while ac- tively pressing through the arm and pushing the floor away. This action will activate the musculature at the side ribs and the posterior lateral scapula in order to tie into the upper core and keep clients out of their necks and upper traps. Watch elbow hyperextension as well as elbows that are bent. Arms should be perpendicular to the floor from all views and the heels of the hands directly below the shoulder joints. 2. Leg to Pelvis Connection: Hamstrings (especially the supe- rior aspects) should be engaged by creating an eccentric muscle contraction between the heels and sitz bones (Ischial Tuberosi- ties). Calf muscles will also have to be active as they interlace with the hamstrings. Some adductor magnus en- gagement can also help in acti- vating the pelvic floor and subse- quently Transversus Abdominis and Internal Obliques. Hugging a ball or half yoga block at the top of the thighs can help clients find that lower core connection. When a client sticks their bot- tom up in the air, it is telling you they have not learned how to stabilize the bottom of their pelvis with their hamstrings and posterior adductors. 3. Lower Back Stabilization: It is not possible to stabilize the lower back without achieving a leg to pelvis connection first (see #2). The lower abdominals can not lift up to support the spine if the bottom of the pelvis is not anchored to the leg. It should be noted that the main work in plank is not com- ing from the spine, so beware of verbally or manually cueing the spine to make it look like the cli- ent is in the right position. The spine is being supported by the musculature in front of the spine in plank, thus cueing muscular action on the front of the body to P The Science of Movement

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