Resistance Bands Workout | Dynamic Plank Extensions
The plank is an excellent fitness move which works to strengthen the body by adding large amounts of resistance to an athletes core. By utilizing planks to strengthen the core athletes are able to keep a much more rigid and straight body positioning while performing explosive movements, such as diving for a baseball hit in the gap. Since planks help to strengthen the core and the core helps to stabilize the rest of the body athletes who incorporate planks to increase core strength will also increase strength and power in virtually every other part of their body.
The simplest and most effective way to increase overall abdominal strength is by adding the plank or plank variations into a regular fitness routine. The plank is a very basic move which challenges the athlete to keep a rigid core and increase overall body strength.
Resistance Band Workouts: Dynamic Plank Extensions
To perform the Kbands Dynamic Plank Extensions athletes will need a set of Kbands, set of KB Powerbands, and an assisting partner. Athletes will prepare for the resistance bands workout by attaching the Kbands just above the knees and attaching the KB Powerband wrist wraps around both wrists, attaching the KB Powerbands to only one wrist at a time.
Once athletes have safely attached the Kbands resistance bands athletes will lay on the ground with the wrist strap attached to the KB Powerbands on the side of the body closest to their partner. Partners or coaches will hold the other end of the KB Powerbands and add resistance to the Dynamic Plank Extension Drill. Athletes will raise up into the top phase of a pushup with arms fully extended, butts flat, feet shoulder width apart, with a straight line running down the back. While performing the resistance band workout it is important athletes do not compromise their body position by raising or lowering the hips and butt. Keeping good body position will allow athletes to maximize the amount of muscle activation, which they will be able to achieve in their glutes and core.
To perform the resistance band workout athletes will move their feet and legs in unison in a “sideways walking plank” motion. Athletes will move hand and feet laterally away from their partner 3 times before stopping and performing the plank extension phase of the resistance band workout. The extension portion of the plank drill involves athletes stabilizing on the hand which has no resistance bands attached to it, while taking the opposite hand and reaching it under and across the body. While athletes are reaching the arm across the body they need to be aware of their body positioning, keeping the legs wide not let their hips turn as they make the reach. Keeping the hips square to the ground will force the abdominal muscle to work harder to stabilize the body and keep it in a powerful and stable position.
Athletes will then reach across their chest with their body as far as possible while maintaining proper body positioning. After athletes perform three reaches they will plank walk back toward their partner 3 times before again performing the resisted reaching portion of the plank drill and then resting. Partners will want to control this plank drill by moving with the athlete performing the resistance band workout. Partners need to ensure proper resistance is maintained throughout the drill as they move back and forth with the athlete. Athletes should perform 6-8 sets of the plank drill, 3-4 on each side of the body, and receive 60-90 seconds of rest in between sets.
Combining Resistance Band Workouts And Planks
By combining resistance on both the upper body and lower body athletes are achieving a large amount of activation in their abdominals and obliques. By incorporating the lower body resistance bands athletes are able to fire their glutes as they work through this plank extension drill. Total body activation and training the entire body to work as one is a great way to increase total body control. As we talked earlier, total body control can be enhanced by strengthening the abs, but it can also be increased by forcing multiple muscle groups to work together to achieve a task.
The resistance bands placed on the upper body during the plank workout help to place more resistance on the upper body forcing even more abdominal activation and strengthening than if the resistance band workout was performed without this resistance. This plank activity is a great drill which can translate to any sport and help any athlete improve overall athletic output.
Athletes need to take care when picking the appropriate resistance to use on the upper and lower body. In general a green or red resistance band will be enough resistance for the lower body resistance. Athletes can get more creative in challenging themselves with the upper body resistance. On the upper body athletes should use different resistance bands and experiment with pairing certain resistance bands together to challenge and strengthen the abs. If athletes cannot keep their hips square to the ground and exercise rotation of the hips is occurring athletes may need to decrease the level of resistance bands. If athletes can easily perform all sets and repetitions of the plank exercise greater resistance should be used.
Abdominal Strengthening Outside of Planks
Planks are a simple and very effective exercise used to attain greater body positioning and core strength. This static core exercise should be paired with an ab exercise which keeps a higher tempo. Rotational exercises such as the Resisted Parnter Rotations or Rotational PowerBands Leg Drive Drill are excellent exercises to pair with a plank. Since athletes are simply holding in most plank variations it is important they use rotational and core exercises which maintain a higher tempo and go through a full range of motion to properly work and challenge the muscles in the abs and obliques. Athletes need to remember that muscular strength and athletic success always run through the core. Athletes of any age or sport should go explore the options in the sports training section to see demonstrations and tips on how to perform planks and other great ab strengthening routines.