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May 07

Advancements in Plank Exercises: Elbow Plank Reach

Plank exercises are a great way to start to develop core strength in any beginner to intermediate exercise routine.  As Personal Trainers in Napa catering to our clients, we like to use advancements in different techniques to progress to different stages of strength. After a client at Napa Tenacious Fitness demonstrates mastery and competency in both the Straight Arm Plank and Elbow Plank exercise, we will progress them to more advance isometric exercises that require core engagement paired with another movement.  One of the techniques we progress to is the Elbow Plank Reach.

In the Elbow Plank Reach exercise, you will be starting out in the standard elbow plank position with the arms bent at a ninety-degree angle and feet will be sprawled out slightly wider than the normal elbow plank position.  The big toe should be even with the outside border of the hips.  Your hips should be steady and square to the ground.   Abs, shoulder blade muscles, pecs and abdominal muscles should be tight.  Ensure that your back is flat while pressing your elbow into the ground wind up the shoulder joint to flex the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades and arm pit maintaining rigidity in the torso extend one arm in front until the arm is completely straight.  Return your extended arm underneath the armpit and rinse and repeat with the same movement on the other side.  Repeat this movement for reps!

We usually have our client perform anywhere from 3-10 repetitions depending on how challenging the exercise is.  In addition, to modify this exercise, you can place your elbows on an incline surface such as an exercise bench or even an even higher surface (at home, you can use something like a kitchen counter or sturdy table… this will make it easier!)

This is great exercise to add to any routine.  It is an abdominal exercise that utilizes both spinal, abdominal and hip stability while utilizing the core musculature to put positive stress on the a wide variety of core muscle groups!