HOW IT’S DONE: A DIFFERENT REP.
This one’s a little different to the other things in the programme — not everything can be put into neat little boxes, but this move is well worth mastering. So, rather than traditional reps or long static holds, on this drill we ask for static holds in two different positions and of course the work to transition.
So, my suggestion is this, you hold each position for 10 seconds. In each set, you do 3 holds in each position (But, if you need to, you can take 10 seconds rest after the planks!).
That makes this an ideal strength endurance drill, and I'd suggest you use it that way, even if you're having a primarily strength-based month.
HOW IT’S DONE: TECHNIQUE
STICK YOUR FEET ON A BOX, A BENCH OR A THING – we want your feet elevated about waist height. Assume a sort-of plank/top of push-up position and do your best to simultaneously look mean and happy.
PUSH YOUR BUM IN THE AIR – that’s the first move. Push your bum straight up into the air and start to get the torso more vertical.
WALK YOUR WAY IN – then take tiny steps with your hands towards the box, keeping your arms straight and pushing your bum higher in the air with each step.
PUSH THE FLOOR AWAY AND HOLD – as you get close to the box, your torso (hamstrings and strength allowing) should be vertical or close to it -- like in a handstand. Once you’re here, lock your arms out, push the floor away hard, push your chest in towards the box and hold.
LOOK OUT, TAKE TINY STEPS OUT – after a 10 second hold, it’s time to move towards the plank hold. So, first look forward, then take tiny steps out to initiate the move back down.
SUCK YOUR ABS IN, TUCK YOUR PELVIS – as soon as you’re half way out, pay particular attention to the position of your pelvis and spine. Don’t allow yourself to get overly extended or slide into an anterior pelvic tilt or you will struggle to get back into good position.
WALK TO PLANK (OR BEYOND) – keep walking your hands out until you reach a position that is tough, but that you can just about hold well for 10 seconds. That might be in a push-up position, that might be with your hands a touch further forward underneath your eyes, or that might even be with them even further forward past your forehead.
HOLD! – then stay there: pushing the floor away, holding the pelvis in a posterior tilt and staying dead still.
BUM IN THE AIR AGAIN – then to move back up, the first move is to push your bum in the air, and then to take tiny steps back up.
WHAT IT SHOULD FEEL LIKE
AT THE TOP – you might feel a nice stretch in the Hamstrings. Your Quads might be working hard too, and that’s fine, but to be honest, they are the side-effects. This position is about your wrists, your triceps, your shoulders, your traps and your shoulder blade stability.
Your wrists: of course will be under pressure. Don’t go mad, they should feel like they are working, not getting crushed.
Your Triceps: should feel like they are ‘pulling up’. You should feel them contracting pretty much throughout this drill.
Your shoulders: again should be working throughout. Their greatest challenge is supporting you in that top position, but they are still being challenged in the plank-like hold, so you should feel them working throughout.
Your traps and upper back: in the top position, we want our shoulders elevated, your shoulders close to your ears.
AT THE BOTTOM – this bit is simpler. All that stuff going on in the top position: it’s still happening, to an extent, but it’s an easier position for your wrists arms and shoulders. What you should feel here primarily is one thing: ABS. They should be working HARD–like an extreme plank– to hold your pelvis in its ‘tucked under’ position. If it’s not that hard, you should be able to walk out further.
You should also feel your upper back stretch and you spread your shoulder blades ala the Planche and Gymnastic Push Up.
IN TRANSITION – you should feel all of the above.
On the way up: we have more demand for arm and shoulder strength, and you should feel it, plus unless you’re super flexible, as your arse shoots up, you’ll feel an increasing hamstring stretch. Every step on the way up should be a short, strong step with power coming from your shoulders.
On the way down: there should be a bit of arm and shoulder strength going on, but the sooner you feel your pelvis tucking under, the sooner you feel your abs start to control that position, the better.