The 10 Planks
Each year, at Passover, we retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. You have probably heard about the 10 Plagues, but have you ever heard of the 10 Planks! Our Fitness Team has put together these 10 Planks to help you melt the matzah this year. Follow along with Ryan Poolay, General Manager of Fitness & Membership; Katie Nickel, Fitness Director; and Ally Koller, Assistant Fitness Director. As always, we recommend you first consult with your doctor before attempting any sort of exercise program.
All planks should be performed with your spine being inline with your shoulders and your hips. Keep your abdominal muscles tight, pulling your belly button to your spine. Your hips and shoulders should be the same height. Remember to breathe throughout the exercise. Hold each plank as long as you can safely hold the position, 20-60 seconds is recommended.
The 10 Planks
2. Elbow Touches
Start in full arm plank position (shoulders drawn down the back, belly button to spine, squeeze the glutes and thighs and press hands into the floor). As you engage your abdominals, slowly take one hand off the ground maintaining the proper alignment with your spin and your hips and shoulders, and reach across to touch your opposite elbow. Do 5 to 10 elbow touches per side.
3. Knees In
Begin in a standard plank, elbows and forearms on the ground. Engage your abdominals, keep your shoulders and hips at the same height, and keep your spine straight. Slowly take one leg out to the side and drive your knee up as far as you can. Repeat on each side 5-10 reps per side.
4. Side Planks
Start by laying on one side. Extend your arm away from your body and raise your hip towards the ceiling, Keep your spine in a straight line and pull your belly button to your spine. Hold for 20-60 seconds and switch sides.
5. Side Plank Hip Dips
Laying on your side place your elbow under your shoulder. Take your top foot and place it in front of the bottom foot. Lift up into a side plank. An option would be to bend the bottom knee for more support. Keeping your core engaged and your shoulders relaxed drop your hips towards the floor, then pull them back up to the starting position. Complete 8 dips per side.
6. Plank to Dolphin
Begin in a standard plank, elbows and forearms on the ground. Pull your belly button in to maintain a neutral spine, then slowly lift your hips up to the ceiling, push your forearms into the floor and press your chest back towards your thighs. Eye gaze should be at your knees. Keeping the neutral spine slowly pull yourself to the forearm plank. Repeat 6-8 times.
7. Rotating Plank
Start in full arm plank position (shoulders drawn down the back, belly button to spine, squeeze the glutes and thighs and press hands into the floor). Slowly open up to the right, right arm reaches for the ceiling, hips push forward. Come back to the full arm plank and repeat on the left side. Repeat 4 times.
8. Boot Camp Push Ups
Start in full arm plank position (shoulders drawn down the back, belly button to spine, squeeze the glutes and thighs and press hands into the floor). Keeping your hips as steady as possible by squeezing the glutes and sides, drop your right arm down to a forearm plank and then your left. Then push yourself back up to the full arm plank. Repeat starting with the left side. Do 8-10 sets.
9. Thread the Needle
In a strong right side plank position, right arm reaching up towards the ceiling, pull the right hips up to the ceiling then push them towards the floor, Wrap your right arm around your body. Open your hips and chest back up to the side plank position. Complete 4 reps on the right and 4 reps on the left.
10. Toe Taps
Begin in a standard plank, elbows and forearms on the ground. Tap one toe out of the side (a little wider than your hips) bring it back to center and then repeat on the other side. Complete 20 reps.