For several years people have been using the plank to encourage a “stronger core.” Holding one self up in a push up position and holding still for minutes at a time. Did you know the world record for holding a plank was just broken this year? The record breaker held the plank for 9 hours, 38 minutes and 47 seconds! You could watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in that time (don’t worry, I’m not getting any ideas).
That is all well and good but we are not tables, not are we trees. We are creatures who move through space. Being able to brace and create a strong, static structure is important, especially when it comes to lifting heavy objects. Yet, we also need to be dynamically strong, pliably resilient, and be able to be that way in three dimensions in which we live.
Long story short, it’s great to work on static planks AND we also need to work on dynamic planks (if you like doing planks). Allow the hips to drop and then lift. See if you can control a sideways glide with your hips without turning or sinking. Allow your hips to rotate left and right while holding the plank. These are just three examples of how to create dynamic planks.
You could reach with your arm and allow the body to follow while preventing the body from collapsing to the floor. You could hold on to a cable hand or resistance band and begin to press or pull in a variety of directions. You could crawl on your elbows and toes while holding a plank. Heck, you could even just lift or turn your head in different directions.
All of these movements would be asking your brain and muscles to coordinate the body in a strong, dynamically stable environment. So the next time you lift something and move or twist you will be a bit more prepared and your back and other joints will thank you.