Workout Wednesday: We All Hate Planks, But Here's Why You Should Do Them February 03 2015

Why bother?

Unless you’re a total masochist, you hate doing planks. Everything seems fine at first, then you start trembling like a leaf. Soon you’re a sweaty mess, and everything hurts. You check your timer. 10 seconds gone. Why do I do planks again?

Because they're one of the best exercises for equestrians. Here's why:

  1. They’re great for your balance and posture.
  2. They’re great for the flexibility in your shoulders, hamstrings, and even the arches of your feet.
  3. They’re great for your core, but they also work your thighs, butt, shoulders and back, all of which will improve your riding form. What’s more, engaging your core while your shoulders and glutes are also engaged helps you get the most out of your core workout.

How do I do it?

Good question, friend. Now that you’re in the planking mood, try this crazy, five minute plank workout from Neila Rey.

Five minute plank circuit from Neila Ray

To make sure you get the most out of your planks, and stay safe while you're doing them, make sure you:

  1. Keep your core tight.
  2. Keep your shoulders above your elbows/hands.
  3. Keep a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Don't let your butt sag, and don't go downward dog.

When should I do it?

As with any core exercises, it's best to do them either as a stand-alone circuit, or after any weightlifting or plyometrics. That way, your core will be strong during your other exercises like your squats, pushups, split jumps, etc. Then you can blast your core into jelly with this plank circuit, and finish your workout with some supermans and some light cardio or stretching.