'Planking' for core muscle strength

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'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby doogles on March 11th, 2017, 4:55 am 

I finally cracked the HOUR !!!!! and thus became a member of the very exclusive unofficial ONE-HOUR-PLANK CLUB.

To the best of my knowledge, only a handful of men in the world have achieved this.

So that’s one thing to cross off my bucket list.

PLANK GYM MARCH 2017.jpg


I just might see if I can improve on it next year.

By the way, anybody can have a ‘go’ at doing this gym exercise designed for core muscle development.

You do not need any special equipment. Just simply lie on the floor or a mat – stretch out on your belly, - then take your weight on your forearms and toes, keeping your back straight..

The exercise is to see how long you can hold this position.

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Re: 'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby Lomax on March 11th, 2017, 9:18 am 

Wait...you PLANKED? For an HOUR? Anyone who has never tried the plank will not appreciate how superhuman this is.
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Re: 'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby Braininvat on March 11th, 2017, 10:51 am 

He mentioned this in an earlier thread - he was up to 40 minutes or so, at that time. I tried the position and got to where I could endure the agony for about 2 minutes. I felt better when I looked up a study that found the average college undergraduate could plank for 2 minutes, which made me feel a bit more youthful.

Bravo, Doogles!
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Re: 'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby doogles on March 11th, 2017, 6:12 pm 

Thank you for the favourable comments Lomax and Braininvat.

I'd like to add a comment that age should not be a factor in having a 'go'.

I'm NOT a gym junky. I didn't commence going to the gym till I was 65 when my osteoarthritic knees prevented me from walking around the block any more.

When I was 75, the gym put a records list on the board and I had to ask one of the trainers what the 'ab-hover' was. (They've changed the name to 'plank' since then)

I did 10 minutes after a 2-weeks work-up and that remained the gym record till they took the board down for renovations after 3 years. A new board was put up a year later and all records were removed. So I had to come out of retirement (from planking) at 79, at which time I did 14 minutes after a 3-week work-up.

The plank is not a part of my 3-hour, once a week, gym session. Yesterday's effort was only my 7th stint ever. It was a 9-week work-up.

But the point I would like to make is that aging could be an advantage for those older people who work out. As we age our intervertebral discs tend to shrink and we lose height. I've shrunk vertically from 5 feet 9 inches in my prime to about 5'4" now. Yet I would have retained ALL of my core muscle. You will appreciate that we expand outwards like a contracted-accordion as we age. This is referred to as middle-age spread. Although our height shrinks, our internal soft tissues don't. So if you work out, your core muscles become bulkier over a shorter length - which is an advantage in an exercise like the plank. Hence the advantage of shrinking with age - if you work out.

Does that make sense?
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Re: 'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby SciameriKen on March 11th, 2017, 9:47 pm 

doogles » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:12 pm wrote:Thank you for the favourable comments Lomax and Braininvat.

I'd like to add a comment that age should not be a factor in having a 'go'.

I'm NOT a gym junky. I didn't commence going to the gym till I was 65 when my osteoarthritic knees prevented me from walking around the block any more.

When I was 75, the gym put a records list on the board and I had to ask one of the trainers what the 'ab-hover' was. (They've changed the name to 'plank' since then)

I did 10 minutes after a 2-weeks work-up and that remained the gym record till they took the board down for renovations after 3 years. A new board was put up a year later and all records were removed. So I had to come out of retirement (from planking) at 79, at which time I did 14 minutes after a 3-week work-up.

The plank is not a part of my 3-hour, once a week, gym session. Yesterday's effort was only my 7th stint ever. It was a 9-week work-up.

But the point I would like to make is that aging could be an advantage for those older people who work out. As we age our intervertebral discs tend to shrink and we lose height. I've shrunk vertically from 5 feet 9 inches in my prime to about 5'4" now. Yet I would have retained ALL of my core muscle. You will appreciate that we expand outwards like a contracted-accordion as we age. This is referred to as middle-age spread. Although our height shrinks, our internal soft tissues don't. So if you work out, your core muscles become bulkier over a shorter length - which is an advantage in an exercise like the plank. Hence the advantage of shrinking with age - if you work out.

Does that make sense?



Very impressive Doogles! An interesting model you are positing as well :D My only question is what do you think about for an hour while you are doing this? :D
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Re: 'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby dandelion on March 11th, 2017, 10:40 pm 

Impressive, well done!
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Re: 'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby Braininvat on March 12th, 2017, 1:29 am 

It has to be asked: what else can you do for an hour?

Rude jokes aside, I think your conjecture about core strength in relation to a shorter torso makes sense. Am thinking of those Olympic weightlifters who tend to be pretty short in stature.
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Re: 'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby doogles on March 12th, 2017, 3:15 am 

dandelion, thanks for the favourable comment.

SciameriKen -
"Very impressive Doogles! An interesting model you are positing as well :D My only question is what do you think about for an hour while you are doing this?"

That's a fair question SK. I must have a capacity for maintaining focus while I'm doing tedious things. I may have been lucky, or unlucky in life (whichever way you look at it) in that I've done many things to earn a living in my life that one could regard as tedious. But my weakness in this exercise is that with knee replacements, I'm advised against doing squats and knee extensions that could develop my quadriceps. In addition, my ankles and feet are far from perfect and I can only hold the weight against one or two toes at a time.

You'll remember my article on vitamin K for atherosclerosis.

Because all four of my tibial arteries (right and left anterior and posteriors) are occluded, I'm totally dependent on a limited collateral circulation for healthy toes and feet. So I concentrate on subtly shifting the weight on my toes from side to side as they (and the quadriceps groups that supplying them) become slightly tender. I think this keeps me occupied.

It's a personal problem I've learned to go around. But obviously with the steady and positive improvement in my general circulation following the use of vitamin K, I expect to improve in everything until age effects begin to set in.

I liked your sense of humour Braininvat, and appreciate the thought on which I presume you based the comment. It had crossed my mind, but alas the skill would be wasted on me now.

You've raised a question though about the suitability of body shapes in various sporting pursuits. You need to be somewhat short and stocky for the plank. Tall and lanky would be hopeless at this, but now useful for tennis and swimming etc. As an extreme example, you never see a Sumo wrestler attempting a high jump these days, do you?
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Re: 'Planking' for core muscle strength

Postby BioWizard on March 12th, 2017, 11:53 am 

I can't even wrap my head around this! Amazing doogles.
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