New Exercises Series 1 – Variations of Plank

Variations of Plank

Kaya Pilates Instructor Team – Training & Development

From Jodie Sheehy | Training & Development Manager

We put these together to show some exercises that are a variation of a plank (front and side). In the coming weeks we will do an arm series, ab series, leg series and a glute series. If you have anything you’d like me to include (remembering that exercises will be a variation of foundation Pilates exercises) please let me know.

There are many ways to cue these exercises. Hopefully this gives you an idea. Firstly demonstrate the three choices so people can choose from the beginning what they might like to do. Add that if you have newer members you recommend they stick with the first choice. If members aren’t comfortable putting one hand on the floor and one on the platform, let them know they don’t HAVE to do it. They can keep their hands on the platform.

If you decide to teach any of these exercises, I recommend you try them by yourself first. We used ½ spring for all these exercises.

Cue members into the start position using simple language, eg… Hands onto the platform, hands underneath your shoulders (or wider for scapular wingers or those who are more comfortable in a wider position… remembering that the line of scaption is 30 degrees of horizontal abduction), feet to shoulder rest, find neutral, set shoulders, push out into a half or full plank. You can offer something like, “If you’ve done this before and would like to go straight into (insert exercise) go for it”

The cues in the video are pretty much how I would cue to layer. Simple. They’ve already seen the exercise so they don’t need a full description for every layer. I haven’t added correctional cues because I knew Michelle and Matt were looking good. Obviously if you see poor form, that’s what you need to base your cues on.
Too much talking will not give members time to feel what they’re doing, so limit cues. Common cue checks in planks are shoulders, lower back, knees, abs, and head/neck. Offer one of those cues after every 3-4 reps based on what you see. If you see everyone sinking into their shoulders, give a cue twice. If it doesn’t work, stop and start again. As you progress through the exercises, remind members they can lower their knees or go to their elbows at any time, and to rest when they need.

If you’re not comfortable teaching the more challenging exercises, build up slowly over a few weeks. Don’t try and make things harder if you’re not comfortable taking members there.

If you have any questions or concerns with any of these exercise please let me know.