One of the most under utilized exercises out there is the Tall Plank. Also know as High Plank or if you come from a yoga background this is simply a Plank. A tall plank is almost exactly like yesterday's forearm plank except you are resting on your hands which are directly under your elbows and shoulders.
Why do it?
This exercise is one of the easiest exercises for most fitness levels to jump in on. It is also one of the easiest to progress with add on levels of difficulties. Although a lot of text books state that this plank is tougher than the lower forearm plank due to a higher center of gravity, I personally find it considerably easier. A majority of the people I have prescribed this exercise during my programming and classes have also found it to be more comfortable. The exception to this usually being those who have limited wrist mobility. It will be interesting to see what you guys think in comparison to yesterday's challenge.
Other Reasons to use Tall a Plank:
- easier to activate deep core
- uses more stabilizers than forearm plank
- allows for better shoulder activation
- easier to engage the Glutes
- really facilitates proper postural muscle activation
- can be used to identify imbalances and posture issues of the shoulders
- can (and will) become a BEAST exercise with so many optional add ons.
- Strength gains made in this exercise translate directly to benefits in standing, functional movements and day to day strength and activities.
How to do it:
The same rules apply to both tall and forearm plank. Place your hands directly under your shoulders. Stop this version at any point where wrist discomfort detracts from the exercises focus points. Tilt your pelvis slightly and draw navel in towards spine. Squeeze everything from legs through core but not so tight as to interfere with your deep abdominal breathing.
Tall Plank, for Time.
Note: both hands remain on the floor in position for the duration of this exercise. No "shaking it out" to relieve tension.