Thursday, February 2, 2023
HomeMassageAdd the Plank Problem to Your Self-Care Plan

Add the Plank Problem to Your Self-Care Plan

A woman demonstrates the plank exercise.

Your self-care is a major a part of your well being and wellness. Going ahead, including a plank problem to your self-care will reward your posture, well being and therapeutic massage work.

Take into consideration the constant self-care you’ve got in place—these issues which have reached behavior standing, like getting bodywork and taking a day by day stroll, ought to carry over into your 2023 self-care. If it’s working, don’t change it.

Along with your good habits, add the plank as a chunk of self-care. Carry out this one merchandise of self-care to make your therapeutic massage work simpler, enhance your posture and keep away from again ache. That feels like a big-bang-for-your-buck merchandise, proper?

[Participate in a plank challenge with The Fit MT. Beginning Jan. 1, visit to participate in a free plank-challenge event hosted by Angela Lehman.]

What’s the Plank?

The plank is a stationary train the place you maintain your physique in a straight line whereas in your toes and elbows. It’s tougher than it seems and is the important thing to higher therapeutic massage work. Extra exactly, the energy the plank gives your core muscle mass is the important thing to a greater therapeutic massage. 

The plank takes energy in a number of muscle teams to do efficiently. These muscle teams occur to be ones a therapeutic massage therapist wants.

The plank makes use of core muscle mass that straight relate to low again energy and resilience when lifting the shopper’s limbs and reaching throughout the therapeutic massage desk for particular strokes.

The plank additionally makes use of the shoulder, pectoralis and serratus anterior muscle mass. The deltoid, pectoralis and serratus anterior stabilize the scapula and shoulder girdle if you are holding the plank place. Identical to when delivering a therapeutic massage stroke down a shopper’s again, the scapula wants to remain fastened, and the anterior deltoid and pectoralis muscle mass assist the arm or arms that ship the stroke.

Whereas holding the plank, the neck stays impartial and reinforces a posture with a impartial head whereas performing therapeutic massage work.

All these muscle mass might be stronger after you’ll be able to maintain the plank for 60 seconds. The energy in these muscle mass makes your actions across the therapeutic massage desk extra fluid, provides you seamless transitions and improves your posture.

I hope you see the wonderful advantages of the plank for therapeutic massage therapists. Subsequent, let’s take a look at the right way to do the plank.

The Plank Problem

The standard plank is finished on the toes and forearms. Start in a push-up place and decrease your forearms so your palms face one another with a closed fist and your elbows are straight underneath your shoulders.

Your physique must be in a straight line from the toes to the crown of the pinnacle. Watch that your hips aren’t sagging (which occurs when you get drained) or elevated above the imaginary line.

Begin with the purpose of holding this plank place for 20 seconds. Enhance the period of time you maintain till you’ll be able to maintain for one minute. 

Should you can maintain a one-minute plank for 2 to 3 repetitions, you’re a lot sturdy sufficient to have nice therapeutic massage work.

Many Plank Variations

For an train that’s so easy, there are many variations, which makes the train extra enjoyable.

We already talked in regards to the fundamental forearm plank, which is the right place to begin. Whereas I like the fundamental plank, I advocate for therapeutic massage therapists to do it on palms and toes (push-up place) as a substitute, and right here’s why.

Therapeutic massage therapists’ palms and forearms have to be stretched and their wrists strengthened. Holding the plank whereas in your palms accomplishes each of this stuff. 

• Plank up/down

This plank begins on the palms and toes. The down section begins by decreasing one arm all the way down to the forearm after which the opposite arm. Going again as much as palms one arm at a time. Every time you’re “up,” rely one repetition.

• Plank jacks

Plank jacks are leaping jacks within the plank place. Your palms keep nonetheless whereas your toes leap collectively and aside like a leaping jack. It is a good cardiovascular train in addition to energy.

• Plank shoulder touches

Plank within the push-up place and alternate touching one hand to the alternative shoulder at a time. Contact the left shoulder with the appropriate hand and the appropriate shoulder with the left hand for one repetition. 

• Aspect plank

This plank is finished on elbow and aspect of toes. The distinction from an authentic plank is your complete physique is turned to the aspect, so that you look out as a substitute of on the floor.

• Hip-dip plank 

Start in plank place, both on palms or forearms. To start, decrease and contact the appropriate hip to the bottom and again to beginning place. Then decrease the left hip to the bottom and again to impartial. Repeat these hip dips in rhythm till you rely 20 repetitions.

• Plank with toes on ball

You should use a bench should you don’t have a physioball useful. The ball makes this train tougher as a result of there is a component of stability, and your core works tougher to carry you in place.

• Incline plank

Plank together with your palms increased than your toes. You’ll be able to place your palms on a desk or bench. This might be simpler, so use it to begin out if it’s worthwhile to get stronger earlier than doing the standard plank.

• One-arm, one-leg plank

This plank is one other good one for stability and making the core muscle mass work tougher. You’ll start in a push-up plank place and raise your proper arm and left leg off the ground—alternate lifting the alternative arm and leg on the identical time. You don’t want to carry the arm and leg out for greater than a second earlier than returning to all fours. You’ll really feel the problem as quickly because the arm and leg depart the ground.

The Inverted Plank for Entrance of Physique

I saved the inverted plank for final as a result of it’s a strength-building plank and a splendidly wanted stretch for therapeutic massage therapists’ forearms. That is the one plank with the entrance of the physique going through the sky.

This model of the plank is useful for therapeutic massage therapists’ shoulders, forearms and palms to open and stretch. It’s executed in an inverted push-up place.

Start by holding the physique in a straight line on heels with palms under the shoulders (as a substitute of on toes and palms like a push-up). With fingertips pointing towards toes, raise the physique off the ground right into a straight line. Retaining a impartial neck and head, maintain the inverted plank for 20 seconds till you’re sturdy sufficient to carry longer.

“The place Ought to I Plank?”

Plank wherever! The plank may be executed wherever you’ve got a stage floor and might get all the way down to the ground. You’ll be able to problem your self by planking at your workplace, residence and fitness center. Do this train at your yoga studio, buddy’s home, open air or indoors.

The plank wants no particular tools or clothes, so plank at any time when the concept strikes you. Plank in between shoppers or whereas watching TV. Plank throughout commercials. Plank together with your pets. Beware, canines will lick your face. Attempt the plank on the park or seaside.

Angela Lehman

In regards to the Creator

Angela Lehman is a therapeutic massage therapist of 25 years turned on-line educator, selling health and diet for therapeutic massage therapists. She runs The Match MT. Along with her kinesiology diploma specialised in diet, she trains therapists in wholesome consuming, train and physique mechanics to extend their careers. Go to to learn her The Match MT column on matters together with physique mechanics, intestine well being, diet, train and extra.


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