And this week’s #TRXTuesday focuses on the plank — a really simple-seeming but often poorly executed move. For a #TRX plank, your strap will be mid-calf length and you’ll be on the ground, facing away from your anchor point.
Toes are in the cradles for this move, with the straps even (how you get your toes in is up to you — I should do a future TRX Tuesday demo on the different ways you can get your toes in the cradles). You’ll be on your knees and either your wrists or forearms — how you hold your plank is up to you, though the elbow plank is generally considered a little easier. I prefer planking on my wrists due to elbow issues.
Quick reminder — watch your feet here to make sure you’re not ‘pulling’ the strap toward you or ‘pushing’ it away past the anchor point. For a regular ol’ plank, try to keep your feet neutral right under the anchor. Once you get good at these you can start playing with foot position a bit (known as the pendulum principle in TRX language).
Cues to use: as you lift up into a full plank, start squeezing. Everything! Squeeze your glutes. Try squeezing inner thighs together. Tighten your quads. Focus on tension in your mid-section (belly button to spine, but DON’T suck in your breath). PUSH the floor away from you. If you can flex your feet (toes toward shins) without your shoes slipping through the cradles, try it (for fun, try pointing your toes, then flexing your toes — you’ll probably notice a marked difference in how tight you can hold the rest of your lower body when the toes are flexed). Seriously, squeeze and hold this plank and make it as absolutely perfect and tight as you can.
AVOID: Hips sagging. HUGE no-no, you’ll hurt your back. Don’t let the shoulders collapse. Keep your chin away from the chest — there is often a tendency to ‘drop’ the head here, but that breaks the perfect plank at the cervical spine. Don’t forget to breathe here.
Rather than holding one single plank for a long time, try these the TRX way: sets of four 10-second planks with just a 3-5 second break in between. That’s right: only 40 total seconds of planking, but you are focused on doing them PERFECTLY for those 10-second rounds.