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Deins Drengers

Truth about plank exercise ?

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Deins Drengers

Hi !

 

What really is the correct plank form ? 

 

Because where I live people are disagreeing on my form ( Scapula protracted, hips tucked and back curled a bit ) like Coach's student do.

 

Doing them that way I feel the strongest as in I feel like a chain from hands to feet. 

 

But today I got corrected multiple times by pilates instructor to have a neutral back, neutral scapula. I did not feel strong or comfortable at that position. What I am saying is the strong chain that I felt doing GST plank was nowhere near this "correct plank" , that was some kind of alien position for me because I automatically want to protract and tuck in hips to get that body alignment for planche.

 

Any opinions on this one ?

Is this a specific GST plank ? 

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Coach Sommer

The pilates instructor is incorrect; if you are actually planning on building something that you can use for more advanced GST elements later.  

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Bryan Wheelock

Every time I talk to a Pilates instructor they talk about what a great core workout it is.

I wonder how many full Hanging Leg Lifts they could do?

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Jason Dupree

This is a big problem in the mainstream, most don't understand progression, and only do an exercise for its own sake. They are always searching for a novel exercise, never really getting stronger. I had a trainer correct me on planks before too, so I stopped my set and explained exactly why I was using the form I did. This is only a problem for exercises everyone knows like planks. As soon as you progress even one more level people lose their minds :)

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Ivan Pavlovic

In pilates flat back plank is corect way of doing plank and in gst hollow body plank is corect way of doing plank. Pilates coaches and practitioners dont really care about strenght, if they do they would do hollow body plank for sure. :D

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Jason Dupree

Why is flat back more correct in Pilates? Just curious. I know that with flat back my core gives out first, as opposed to shoulders for hollow.

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Keilani Gutierrez

Every time I talk to a Pilates instructor they talk about what a great core workout it is.

I wonder how many full Hanging Leg Lifts they could do?

let's not hit them too hard in the ego....maybe just see how long they can hold an L-hang....without losing PPT or dropping the legs from 90 degrees. ;)

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Jay Bailey

Why is flat back more correct in Pilates? Just curious. I know that with flat back my core gives out first, as opposed to shoulders for hollow.

In Pilates, the plank is a core exercise. In GST, a big part of its purpose is to train you to protract the shoulders for more advanced work. If you have no plans to move on to this more advanced work, you don't need to do them the gymnastics way.

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Coach Sommer

Actually I have more than a few students who had plateaued with pilates and are now adding GST to their training.  To put it simply, they are shocked at their new strength gains.

 

My GB affiliate Bodytree GST in Singapore is a perfect example.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Farid Mirkhani

99% of the people who performs the planks don't know how to do the planks correctly. I see this in the gym all the time, not once I have seen anyone do the planks like Coach Sommer's students do them on the F-series, but I never have the guts to tell them. I could be savings lives you know, but I don't.

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Brian Li

Every time I talk to a Pilates instructor they talk about what a great core workout it is.

I wonder how many full Hanging Leg Lifts they could do?

Planks are a good basic beginner core exercise. You have to remember that non-GST practitioners use planks as an abdominal exercise and not one for scapular protraction and planches are not one of their goals.

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Coach Sommer

The reason that most people prefer to perform planks with APT (arched lower back) is that it takes less, not more core strength.

 

It should also be considered that when the body is horizontal the lower back is relatively unsupported in APT.  When horizontal the abs are what provide the support of the lower back and that is best accomplished with PPT.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Cole Dano

The Pilates style plank is also very commonly taught in yoga, in fact until I met Coach Sommer I also taught it this way. However trying it with protraction and PPT it was immediately obvious which was better and why.

 

I believe the mistake is coming from the idea that 'neutral posture' is good posture, so body lines in Pilates and yoga are built to reinforce that. Along with this come the very mistaken idea that it takes more strength to hold a neutral line.

 

In reality any good system working core and postural strength should work various degrees of the main shapes, hollow, arch and side arch.

 

Also you will see the same with scapular positioning, where keeping the scaps in neutral position is over emphasised rather than a full range of movement appropriate to each position. Hence rather than strong protraction in the scaps, you will be 'corrected' to center them, which as you experience is a position of weakness. 

 

However you have to keep in mind that Pilates developed out of dance, which generally is not using highly protracted or retreated positions. But that's also why in planks etc they should encourage that, for balance sake if nothing else.

 

I've been very fortunate, as I have a ballet teacher who respects my background with GST and doesn't ever correct my plank form.

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Ronnicky Roy

What I've been doing the past few weeks is resting a dowel rod on my spine. Just to make sure it's touching the head, between shoulder blades and tail bone. I find the hardest part of the plank is maintaining a PPT. The rod feels like it's helping, more for kinesthetic awareness in the position if nothing else

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Ronnicky Roy

However, i'm not sure that is a maximum ppt

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Stephen Majerle

I had a yoga teacher "correct" my plank several months ago too. At the time I just figured I'm doing yoga not gymnastics at the moment, so I went along with it. But it was still annoying in that I'm a beginner in GST and yet I understand planks better than a yoga teacher with a decade of experience.

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Blairbob

Hopefully there are some cute chicks at the pilates and yoga places so we can understand why you are really going there.

I thought I read something of the GST plank being similar to Pavel's RKC plank or vice versa.

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Farid Mirkhani

When you do the plank with maximum ppt, you will feel it in your core, although not on the outside but it will burn on the inside. I believe they call it transverse abs.

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Brian Card

Hopefully there are some cute chicks at the pilates and yoga places so we can understand why you are really going there.

I thought I read something of the GST plank being similar to Pavel's RKC plank or vice versa.

I believe so. The RKC Plank appears in Brent Contreras's Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy book as well.

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Frankincensed

I thought Pilates was a gymnast.  At least says so on Wiki.  In any event he had a concern about postural health and I can see a connection with that and a neutral plank position. However postural health planks and gymnastic performance planks are two different animals and don't even need to be compared. 

 

None the less, a similar discussion took place here too. https://www.gymnasticbodies.com/forum/topic/10193-which-plank-position-is-harderbetter/

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Blairbob

Pilates was a blend of gymnastics, dance, and yoga.

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Cole Dano

True I forgot he was also a gymnast, but that was a long time ago, and body line ideas have been evolving in gymnastics since then.

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ASForum

I had a yoga teacher "correct" my plank several months ago too. At the time I just figured I'm doing yoga not gymnastics at the moment, so I went along with it. But it was still annoying in that I'm a beginner in GST and yet I understand planks better than a yoga teacher with a decade of experience.

Yoga was not meant to be a 'workout system' for strength training.

Yog = Union = is a path of integrating mind, body & spirit of an individual such that it is in rhythm with the universe/ nature/ divinity (if u so inclined). 

Yog .. now called Yoga.. has 8 limbs.. ONLY ONE of which is Hatha Yoga.. or the Asanas.. i.e. the physical poses/ movements/ exercises. 

In fact, Hatha Yoga was not meant to be a physical fitness system.. In modern times & especially due to the west, it has become largely a 'fitness' related thingy. 

 

So, different goals.. originally, and after the corruption in modern times.. there it goes. 

 

Whatever their goals, they are not the same as GST.. :) So dont judge or get upset. 

 

If you want to see ancient gymnastics/ strength training.. then you can look up various things - Malkhamb, Kalari payattu (said to be the roots of Kung Fu).. 

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Cole Dano

You have to separate yoga the form of exercise from yoga the philosophy. 

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Jesse Frigo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Pilates

Say what you want about the modern incarnation of "Pliates" as an exercise methodology, I still say that Joseph Pilates was a badass.

 

Pilates has been watered down over the years, much like traditional Taichi (Taijiquan) has become this soft form of movement with little relation to its original purpose of developing combat skills and strength.  When an exercise form is primarily taught to women and old people, the practitioners seem to lose focus of the strength capabilities of it.  I almost think this is happening to physical therapists in the US as well- they deal with weak broken people for so long that many don't know what to do when someone who trains comes in for help with healing a specific issue.

 

Side note: A friend of mine is a high-level athlete who is also certified to teach Pilates.  It's no joke when done well.  She is very good at identifying weaknesses/imbalances and building core strength in most people.

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