It’s safe to say that I’m hopelessly addicted to classes at Pilates Plus Dublin! I started going at the beginning of the summer, and have felt a huge difference in my strength and flexibility over the past couple of months.
The exercises tie in really well with my training at Bodybyrne, as Pilates is so core-focused and that makes a huge difference when you lift weights in the gym. But Pilates also helps to lengthen and strengthen every muscle in your body.
One of the best core and abs exercises is the plank, but this teaser plank is a little bit different to the planks you might be used to doing. As you can see in the photo, my legs are crossed over, but my upper body remains in the same position as a regular plank. This increases the pressure on your oblique muscles on the side of the lower leg, which gives you a nipped-in waist and great definition in the muscles above your hip bones. Hello crop tops! 😉
This exercise works just as well on this ‘proformer’ machine as it does in your home or the gym. It can be done anywhere and relies on your own body weight, which makes it a brilliant exercise to keep in mind for your core!
How to do the teaser plank:
1. Use a mat or towel on a hard floor or carpet to protect your elbows.
2. In a standing position, place your left leg across your right leg, pointing both your feet as much to the right as you can.
3. Crouch down and use your hands to walk your body out into a plank position.
4. Engage your core and focus on pulling your tummy button in towards your spine. Ensure that your neck is neutral and your shoulders are in line with your elbows on the floor. protect your lower back by keeping your core muscles engaged, but stop doing the exercise if you feel your lower back collapsing.
5. If you’re a beginner, start by doing the plank for 20-30 seconds. If your fitness is more advanced, aim to do this exercise for 1-2 minutes, about 3-4 times a week and make sure you hold the plank position with your right leg underneath so that both sides of your waist benefit from it.