Friday, July 11, 2008

The Plank

Someone said the early bird gets the worm. I guess it's only true when you don't get up before the birds. This month I am monitoring the remedial PT program. It is a program designed for those that are fat, weak or both. The political correctness and niceness with this program went out the window at 0330. This is the time I have to wake so I can ride my bike to the base and have a training program of my own.

The good news is I get to test my RKC teaching skills on these people. It is nice to have a few guinea pigs to hone my skills. We have been working on pull ups this week. One person can't do 1 pull up. OOPS the minimum standard is 3! Another couldn't do any but is now up to 4 he will be off the program soon.

One of the assistance exercises in the RKC II manual for the pull up is a front plank. While working the front plank this morning, a light bulb went off in my head. Check it out:
  • All 4 subjects I worked with this morning are very weak with the pull up.
  • All 4 subjects struggle to hold a proper front plank for more than 20 seconds. Their bellies begin sagging and back arching down.
  • I conclude that the inability to do pull ups is directly related to core strength.
I have to ask, why in the world would someone do lat pull downs and arm curls to get better at pull ups?
Wouldn't time spent improving core strength (back, belly, hips, shoulders etc.) be more useful?

Here's how to do a plank.
  • Get in the push up position on your elbows.
  • Tighten your entire body, thighs, butt, back, abs.
  • Your pelvis should point towards your belly button (kinda).
  • Look at the ground.
  • Take shallow breaths.
  • Hold the position for time.
  • Start with 30 seconds and do it 3-5 times. Increase the time as required.

Practice today:

Ride 30 miles - 15 am/15 pm
Deadlift 135 x 5 - 5 sets: 185 x 5 - 5 sets
Bench Press 135 x 5
Pull up / hanging leg raise 5x5 each

See, I work my core and have no problems with pull ups.

Z drills/NWU
Rest day

Ride 30

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