The bear plank is a beginner- to intermediate-level bodyweight exercise which targets the muscles in your hips, glutes as well as core region. It’s an amazing exercise for balance and core stabilisation.
As it allows you to fire-up the muscles in your core, the bear plank is a phenomenal addition to an abdominal workout. This is especially as it’s really good at engaging your lower abdominal muscles.
You are also able to add the bear plank to a dynamic warm-up routine in order to assist with activating upper and lower body muscles before cardio exercises such as running or cycling or before lifting weights.
The Perfect Beginning To Any Workout
Most personal trainers and fitness experts would agree that it’s a great idea to start every workout with a plank. Whether you’re trying to stay sturdy on your forearms, balance on one leg, hold a push up position, or alternate arm lifts, there’s really no straightforward variation. However, nothing makes your entire body roar quite like a bear plank.
Just like alligator crawls or inchworms, the bear plank is an even more challenging full-body workout. A bear crawl entails getting down on all fours with your knees hanging a few inches off the floor. You need to use your strength in order to get you from point A to B. However, the bear plank is stationary. And although it might seem that holding still would be easier, you’ll quickly realise that’s not always the case. A few seconds in and your core—as well as the rest of your body!—will be on fire.
How To Do It
Make sure that you keep your back parallel to the floor during the entire exercise. Squeeze both your ab and mid-back muscles. Imagine that you have a cup of water on your back (or better yet, have a friend put one there). If you shift the wrong way it’ll spill.
A bear plank imitates a squat so, much like a squat, you will need to squeeze your glutes. In addition, doing so will open your knees ever so slightly and put you in a more athletic position.
Your knees should be about an inch above the floor and your shins need to be parallel to the ground. This assists with keeping your back flat. In addition, it also fires up your quads. Your knees need to be directly under your hips and line up with your wrists.
You might be tempted to lock your elbows. Don’t. Bend them slightly and then flex your triceps. Let your arms function as shock absorbers for your upper body. Your wrists should be directly below your shoulders. In addition, this will also ready you to crawl forward (and yes, that can blast your abs, too).
How To Modify The Bear Plank
The bear plank is already an altered form of a traditional plank. That said, if you need to streamline the move, the first strategy is to reduce the distance between your knees and the floor. For instance, as opposed to lifting your knees three inches of the floor, only do one inch. In addition, you can decrease the time which you spend in the hold or contraction portion of the exercise.
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