Would you like to add something interesting to the knowledge you have already covered on plank exercises? Well, today’s feature is going to equip you with knowledge of plank saw.
This is actually a progression of the plank exercises. lt is aimed at sliding your back and away from your arms in a good front plank. It is also called a body plank saw.
HOW TO DO PLANK SAW
You need a smooth surface.
- Lower yourself into a low plank position. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and place your forearms beneath your shoulder with your head facing forward. Lift yourself onto your toes, keeping your back as straight as possible.
- Tighten your abs, shoulders, quads, glutes, and arms, so you are completely firm and stable as you start the exercise.
- While you are in this starting position, keep your head lined up with your hand.
- You will be staying in the plank position for the entire body saw exercise.
- This exercise can be very tough, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with core exercises. So not be discouraged if you have a little discomfort. It is normal for beginners.
- Shift the entire body forward with your elbows and toes.
- Push the center of your body backward to complete the rep.
- Try 2 to three sets of 8 to 15 reps.
WHAT MUSCLES DO BODY SAWS WORK
Plank body saw mainly works on the triceps, hips, shoulders, core, and calves.
This process is powered by calves (the body saw motion)and the core (to sustain the pose)
Tip: When you perform body saw try and take your back as far forward as you can and then pull it back as far as it will go. You should feel a pull on your calves as the muscles stretch.
BENEFITS OF PLANK SAW
Plank saw exercises come with quite a number of benefits;
It makes you create a massive contraction in your abs during the exercise.
It is very vital for a person seeking to improve their core strength.
As you increase your core strength, you will also improve your balance, posture, and overall stability. This will leave you less susceptible to injuries.
ALTERNATIVES TO PLANK SAW
It is a fact that planks can at times get boring, which may force you to look for other alternatives. Some available options include;
THE SIDE PLANK
This is a variation of the ever-popular standard plank position designed to target the muscles at the side of the waist.
Whereas the exercise will produce a burn in the oblique area, it is not an effective builder of the core muscles. The best way to develop strength and encourage hypertrophy is to move the muscles through their full range of motion.
TWISTING HANGING LEG PAUSE
It allows you to work your obliques through a full range of motions and in their proper biomechanical direction. It is also a good core stability exercise. At the same time, it works the oblique rectus abdominal.
Step by step instructions:
- Hang from a high base with hands slightly wider than the shoulder level in an overhand position.
- Pull your knees up toward your chest and then twist them to the left.
- Lower and repeat the same procedure, this time twisting to the right.
- Do 3 steps of 12 reps.
Equipment needed: pull up bar
Tip; Avoid using momentum on this move and avoid swinging.
This is a modification of the standard plank that provides for dynamic movement. This takes the exercise beyond an isometric contraction to activate the muscles through their range of motion.
Step by step instructions;
- Lie face down on the floor in the plank bridge position with your feet on a pair of glides. Your elbow should be under your shoulders
- Pull your torso forward without moving your forearms.
- Do 3 steps of 15 reps.
Equipment needed: gliders
Tip: You should maintain a rigid body position throughout the entire movement.
STRAIGHT LEG SIT UP WITH TWISTS
This is a great alternative because it allows you to get a full range of movement through the sides of the waist as you come upon every rep. lt works mainly on the core.
Step by step instructions:
- Lie on the floor with legs extended and feet anchored. Place your hands across your chest.
- Curl up straightening your back as you move beyond a 45-degree angle.
- Now twist to the left.
- Lower and repeat, this time twisting to the right.
- Do three steps of ten reps.
Push and pull yourself a little further during each rep for an extra challenge.
Equipment: Running saw machine.
THINGS TO AVOID DURING PLANK SAW
COLLAPSING YOUR LOWER BACK
Instead of compromising your lower back by dipping your butt, engage your core by imagining your belly button pulling in toward your spine.
REACHING YOUR BUTT TO THE SKY
Planks are not supposed to look like Downward Dog. in order to get your core working the way it should be in the plank position, try to keep your back flat enough so that your abs feel engaged from the top, just right below your sternum, to bottom – directly below your belt. Avoid dipping your rush too far toward the floor.
LETTING YOUR HEAD DROP
Whereas the focus may be on keeping your hips, butt, and back in the right position, it is equally important to think of your head and neck as an extension of your back. You should keep your eyes on the floor as you let them rest about one foot in front of your head. This will ensure your neck is kept in a neutral position.
FORGETTING TO BREATHE
It is natural to hold your breath when you are in a strenuous position. However, deliberately denying yourself oxygen can bring dizziness and nausea which are very dangerous.
FOCUSING TOO MUCH ON THE STOPWATCH
It is a fact that the quality of a workout counts more than the length of time you spend on a given task. It is therefore imperative that the moment you feel your body complaining, take a break or stop altogether.
Planks burn more calories than sit-ups or crunches since they engage most muscles in the body.
With this guide, hopefully, you are now well equipped with the knowledge and skills to perfect your planking and be in a position to fix some of the most common plank mistakes.