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Developing a Strong Support Base for Your Spine, Part 2

The plank has been a mainstay for core stabilization – lumbar extension – providing mechanical support to the spine. The side plank adds an additional dimension for lateral support. There are multiple variations. Adding movement versus static isometric contraction to both prone and side planks adds diversity – allowing for multiple training objectives to be achieved at the same time.

3-Way Plank:
Prone Plank with Scapula (shoulder) Retractions:
Assume a prone position with the legs extended, toes tucked under, body not sagging at the waist – arms in a tripod position with elbows directly under the shoulder, which provides a protected base of support.

Hold the plank position, while bringing the shoulder blades backward and forward without moving your upper torso. Try 5-10 retractions.

Side Plank with Dip:
Assume a left-side plank position supported by your left arm bent at a 90-degree angle – with elbow situation directly in line with your left shoulder – providing a safe base of support – with your palm on the floor. Keeping your right foot flat with an extended leg, bend your left knee to 90 degrees and place the right foot adjacent to the inner side of the right knee. Dip your body – touching the ground. Perform 5 times. Repeat to opposite side.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.