T Nation

Weighted Front Planks

Hi little buddies,

Ive been progressing in time with my front planking… Im up to about 3 sets of 90 seconds. Anyway I was wondering when I should start adding weights to the equatian? Im thinking when I can comfortably do 3 sets of 120 seconds? And also, where abouts on the back would one place the weight… more towards the middle of the back or more towards your head?

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90 sec. is plenty long enough already! What are you doing that requires that long of a hold?

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
90 sec. is plenty long enough already! What are you doing that requires that long of a hold? [/quote]

Im just doing a little extra “core” work. Long story, history of lower back issues and Im slowly returning back to squatting.

But Im doing everything I can to prevent re-injuring again, including lots of foam rolling, mobility work, taking progression very slowly and some extra “core work”.

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I put the weight wherever it will stay. I don’t think about it that much. And I usually only do about 60 sec holds, don’t see how 90 secs would hurt though.

I prefer to increase the weight rather than the time.
I typically don’t go over 30 seconds as i feel any more is purely endurance.
When the front plank was out abdominal exercise of choice we kept increasing our weights up to about 80kg for 3 x 30 seconds. When using weights you have to ensure your technique is good and you back doesn’t sag but I’m pretty sure you’ve alredy worked that one out.

I prefered to place the weights over the lower back/pelvis as this seemed to put more pressure on the abdominals and not the shoulders. You will find it easier to balance the plates here as well and they will be less likely to cause pain by digging into your back.

[quote]Mr Stern wrote:
I prefer to increase the weight rather than the time.
I typically don’t go over 30 seconds as i feel any more is purely endurance.
When the front plank was out abdominal exercise of choice we kept increasing our weights up to about 80kg for 3 x 30 seconds. When using weights you have to ensure your technique is good and you back doesn’t sag but I’m pretty sure you’ve alredy worked that one out.

I prefered to place the weights over the lower back/pelvis as this seemed to put more pressure on the abdominals and not the shoulders. You will find it easier to balance the plates here as well and they will be less likely to cause pain by digging into your back.[/quote]

Good advice buddy.

Although I find 30 seconds is too short. Anyone can plank for 30-60 seconds.

Im not sure if my technique is spot on. I perform them side on to a mirror, so I often check that I look straight in the mirror. Im not sure what I am meant to be doing with my pelvis, for example am I meant to be anterior tilting and activating the glutes?

I was thinking of putting the weight more towards my shoulders, but maybe your recommendation would be better.

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[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]Mr Stern wrote:
I prefer to increase the weight rather than the time.
I typically don’t go over 30 seconds as i feel any more is purely endurance.
When the front plank was out abdominal exercise of choice we kept increasing our weights up to about 80kg for 3 x 30 seconds. When using weights you have to ensure your technique is good and you back doesn’t sag but I’m pretty sure you’ve alredy worked that one out.

I prefered to place the weights over the lower back/pelvis as this seemed to put more pressure on the abdominals and not the shoulders. You will find it easier to balance the plates here as well and they will be less likely to cause pain by digging into your back.[/quote]

Good advice buddy.

Although I find 30 seconds is too short. Anyone can plank for 30-60 seconds.

Im not sure if my technique is spot on. I perform them side on to a mirror, so I often check that I look straight in the mirror. Im not sure what I am meant to be doing with my pelvis, for example am I meant to be anterior tilting and activating the glutes?

I was thinking of putting the weight more towards my shoulders, but maybe your recommendation would be better.

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No don’t anteriorly tilt your pelvis as you are trying to resist that movement with the exercise. I even made sure i had a slight posterior pelvis tilt to ensure i had really good activation of me abdominals to start with. But yeah depends on what you are doing it for. For prehab/rehab then getting them working for longer periods would probably be better but I was doing them as a build up for dragon flags.
I also figured that a set of 5-8 reps of other exercises always took less than 30 seconds to complete, so in order to make maximum strength gains I though it better to keep it shorter and use more weight.

Thats just the way I see it. It is a really good exercise and your weights should go up fairly quickly as its an isometic hold. There are plenty of ways to cheat but the most common one what i see alot in the gymm is to let your back sag and place all the stress on their facet joints of their back. A sure recipe for back pain.

i do planks 2 ways… for time, and with weights… i’ll build up to 7 minutes, then once i can do 7 minutes, i have my wife put on a 35# weight and i hold that for a minute. i do a few sets of these… a guy i met has a wife that can hold the plank 10 minutes, and does a few sets of these. i get bored, but would like to build up to 15 minutes…maybe watching tv will break the boredome??

Put a 45 pound plate so opposite sides are resting comfortably on your ass and the lower side of your thoracic.
If you put it up too high you won’t be challenging your core.
If you put it too low, it will probably slide down the back of your legs.
Thinking about it another way, lie on your back, and put a plate on your stomach.
It should be placed in pretty much the same place except on your posterior.

[quote]MattyG35 wrote:
Put a 45 pound plate so opposite sides are resting comfortably on your ass and the lower side of your thoracic.
If you put it up too high you won’t be challenging your core.
If you put it too low, it will probably slide down the back of your legs.
Thinking about it another way, lie on your back, and put a plate on your stomach.
It should be placed in pretty much the same place except on your posterior.[/quote]
x2

The thing i find weird is in the gym big guys who train sets of 5 or 8 reps when doing the heavy lifts but when they do core they seem to do hundreds of situps. just wonder why they suddenly switch their training mentality for sets that last under 20 seconds to sets that last a couple of minutes.

Nothing at you theBird as i know your training is different from that.

[quote]Mr Stern wrote:
The thing i find weird is in the gym big guys who train sets of 5 or 8 reps when doing the heavy lifts but when they do core they seem to do hundreds of situps. just wonder why they suddenly switch their training mentality for sets that last under 20 seconds to sets that last a couple of minutes.

Nothing at you theBird as i know your training is different from that.[/quote]

Gotta tighten up that waist braaaaaa

Skip the planks and switch to ab wheel rollouts, birdman. That’ll solve your problem. :smiley: