It is very easy to come across online plank challenge. The quality of these challenges can sometimes be questionable because the plank exercise is not efficient if the pose is not done correctly. For this reason, we at Method Makia want to share with you our very own 30-Day Plank Challenge. Practice our method, and you will notice an undeniable difference!
An online plank challenge is nothing new. In our challenge, however, you will practice a Method Makia plank pose, which makes the workout much more challenging and efficient. You are required to keep a perfect plank pose throughout the whole challenge – starting from 20 seconds on your 1st day of practice, and increasing up to five minutes on your last day.
An example of a typical but incorrect plank pose.
When done in the right way, the plank is an efficient and a safe position!
The plank in the above photo is not optimal. When performed incorrectly, the plank can even be harmful to your body. Pay attention to the red arrows that show the areas to which special attention must be paid.
- Lower back
- It is vital to keep the lower back from swaying. It should never dip. When the back is not straight, the weight will be on the vertebrae. This is not beneficial for your muscles. The supporting muscles must be strengthened, in order for them to keep supporting your spine in every possible situation and pose.
- Shoulder blades
- Method Makia practice pays special attention to the position of the shoulder blades. In the picture above, the shoulder blades are closed. In correct planking, the shoulder blades need to be open. Below, we explain the correct position. After familiarizing yourself with it, you can start the challenge.
The Lower Back
In the challenge you will practice a so-called hollow body position. This pose is the foundation from which you will generate more and more power and strength. Practicing the hollow body pose strengthens the deep back muscles, as well as the abs. It will also improve your pelvis posture over time. A strong and mobile core is the basis of maximal strength, no matter if you are a weightlifter or a crossfitter.
UNDERSTANDING THE HOLLOW BODY POSITION
The optimal hollow body pose is shown in the video below. The hollow body position is maintained in almost all poses of the Method Makia practice.
Hollow body on the floor
1. Straighten the back by pulling the coccyx down, between your legs.
2. Tighten the ribs and hollow the upper body.
3. Straighten the legs slowly, making sure that the lower back pressure will not disappear.
4. Keep yourself tight. Imagine someone lifting you, and placing you on a ball. Your pose must be so tight that it would not change at all.
Hollow body position in plank
The lower back position might be a bit tricky to understand. It is important to keep the lower back always straight. It is very common that the back will try to dip during the plank, and arc unintentionally. When this happens, you should push the pelvis forward, in order to straighten the back.
Opening the shoulder blades
The body uses many muscles to open the shoulder blades. The most important muscle is the serratus anterior, which slides the blades further away from each other. It is indeed important to try to slide the shoulder blades as far away from each other as possible, and in addition to twist the blades slightly, in order to get the maximum support for the pose. You can do this by activating the lower part of the serratus anterior. In this position, the lower parts of the blades will be furthest apart. (Displayed on the video, back towards the camera.)
Feeling the blades
You can practice the right blade position with the help of a stick. When you push the stick forward, the blades are open. This is the position that you must maintain while doing the plank challenge. When you pull the stick backwards, the blades are closed. This position is used in some of the Method Makia pulling positions, in which a static traction is necessary.
Variation 1. The Forearm Plank: If you never planked before, start with this plank. Notice the hollow body position, and push your hands against the floor in order to open the blades. If you feel your lower back falling out of the pose, straighten it by correcting the hollow pose. If you do not have the strength to continue in a straight position, discontinue your practice for the day. Continue the next day, by following the timetable, no matter the previous day.
Variation 2. The Method Makia Plank: When you are able to keep a strong hollow body position, proceed to this plank variation. Open the shoulder blades as wide as you can, by pushing the hands on, and “through” the floor. Push the hands as straight as you can, at the same time maintaining the hollow body position. In the beginning phases of your practice, make wide movements to improve your strength. In this way, you will have a strong core when proceeding to the more challenging Method Makia poses, and you will be able to keep a more neutral position.
After the planking session you can do 5-minutes break exercise. Recommendable!
THE BENEFITS OF THIS PLANK CHALLENGE
The challenge begins with very short planking sessions. These may even activate completely new muscles in your body. Even if the sessions may feel short at first, do not overdo the seconds and minutes mentioned in the challenge timetable. The main point of focus here is the hollow body position, and the correct position of the blades. After 30 days you will notice how strong and well-functioning your core has become!
After finishing the Method Makia Plank Challenge, you will notice:
- You have trained new muscle groups with and “old” pose
- Your deep back muscles and abs have gained plenty of strength
- Your posture has improved
- Your core will automatically keep itself tight and straight in your daily life
- If you have suffered from shoulder or lower back pain, the symptoms have significantly improved or even completely disappeared
WHAT IS METHOD MAKIA?
The Method Makia provides you with a personal training program, which is based on poses and movements that you can do at home, and with the weight of your own body. Strength and mobility unite in an inspiring way in the Method Makia practice, and your workout will be joyful. Read how the Method Makia program will prepare a personal training plan for you, and how it will continuously fine-tune the plan, to fit with your individual development, based on the feedback it is given.