The plank is a fantastic yet simple exercise to challenge your entire core strength and stability. There are so many variations of this exercise, some of which make them easier to achieve and others add different aspects to make it more challenging. We are going to be looking at how to perform plank shoulder taps and how to increase the difficulty of these.
- Get yourself into a straight arm plank position ensuring your body is in a nice straight line. Shoulders should be directly above your wrists, feet hip width apart, whilst engaging your core and glutes.
- Slowly take one hand off the floor and lift it to tap your opposite shoulder. You should aim to use your core to keep your body as still as you can and not rock to one side.
- Put that hand back on the floor and then repeat on the other side, again keeping everything as strong and still as you can.
- Repeat for required time or reps – no rocking side to side!
You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by bringing your feet closer together which will mean your base is narrower so your core will be working harder to keep you still. You can also slow down your shoulder taps, so you only have three points of contact for longer meaning your core needs to work hard for longer to keep you stable. Then there is the option of adding stability boards such as the bosu which will add a bigger stability element to the exercise, and it will be harder for you to maintain your position as there will be the extra wobble instead of being on the solid floor!
It is important that you maintain your form throughout this movement (whichever option you choose to try). Make sure your hips don’t dip down to put pressure on your lower back and be aware that if your hips are sticking up then your core won’t be engaged and working.
You will find lots of plank variations and other core exercises in Core Conditioning on Mondays at 5.45pm and Wednesdays at 9am with Jo, so book in to challenge your core and build that strength and stability!