An effective active therapy session is not complete without a plank – familiar words to anyone who has ever done an active therapy session with me and for good reason.
The plank is an isometric core strength exercise that involves holding your body in a push-up position for an extended period of time, with the body’s weight being supported by the forearms, elbows and toes (or knees if modified).
This core exercise involves the whole body, strengthening the abdominals, back, shoulders, and legs. Primary muscles used are the erector spinae (back), rectus abdominus (the “six pack”), and transverse abdominus (the “inner girdle” ab muscle). Secondary muscles include the trapezius and rhomboids (both upper/mid-back), rotator cuff, the anterior, medial and posterior deltoid muscles (shoulder), pectorals (chest), serratus anterior (at side over ribs), gluteus maximus (butt), quadriceps (front of thigh) and gastrocnemius (calf). Talk about bang for buck!
For you trivia buffs, the current Guinness World Record for a front plank is 3 hours 7 minutes and 15 seconds, set by George Hood in Newport, Kentucky on April 20, 2013… and you thought 60 seconds was tough!!!