How to use the plank to Build better Shoulders


The PLANK.  One of the most basic core exercises out there.  If you’ve been in the gym its no doubt you’ve been told you need to plank for both core stability and for your abdominal muscles.  There are several variations of the plank for beginners and increasingly advanced.  For more variations check out the exercise library under “Core/abdominals

Many of those out there planking do not reap the benefits of better anterior core strength because they are not tying the upper and lower body together through the core, so essentially they are putting the pressure and force in their low back.

Why does this happen? Many of us have tight rounded shoulders, specifically the pectoral minor is the culprit. As shown in the video it anteriorally rotates the shoulder.  On the other hand the serratus anterior is under-active, leaving the shoulder rounded.  So when we plank onto a rounded shoulder, the scapulae is not stabilized properly and therefore the upper-body is not tied into the core, leaving a break in the middle, forcing you to use your low back muscles to support you in the plank.  So how do we transfer the force into the entire body rather than leave the shoulder girdle and hip complex to fight for stability on their own?

We learn to fire the serratus anterior to pull the shoulder blade down and into the rib cage where it belongs for a stable shoulder and core.  Watch the video to find out out how!