Core, everyone nowadays has heard about it and hopefully has tried to improve theirs. One of the struggles of working on core is squeezing your stomach and breathing at the same time. Think of the last time you tried to do a plank. As you performed the exercise longer it got harder and harder to breath didn’t it? How much more productive could the exercise be for you if you could breathe more efficiently?

Whether we’re talking about planks on your forearms or on your hands, the body position will dictate if the exercise becomes a breath taking experience. Let’s start with your feet and work our way up to the hand position:

Step 1: make sure your feet are in alignment with your hips and positioned straight. (squeeze your glutes to prevent your hips from dropping)
Step 2: tuck the bottom of your ribs into your spine (this will allow your stomach to engage without over contracting)
Step 3: bring your shoulder blades together comfortably
Step 4: elbows remain under your shoulders
Step 5: separate your hands (this protects your shoulders)

That’s all! Five easy steps to put your body into the proper anatomical position. Notice step number two, why isn’t it recommended to over engage your Ab muscles? A lot of the time if you try to squeeze your stomach too hard you will end up arching your back and you won’t allow your diaphragm to move. If your diaphragm can’t move your lungs can not fill with air. When you can’t get enough air your burn out quicker. Your key to success is starting in the right position and getting enough air to hold the plank.


by Travis Webb, Fitness Professional