The RKC Plank (Russian Kettlebell Certificafion)
A traditional plank does a poor job of activating the core musculature. I believe it is a great exercise when first learning how to properly engage and create tension through the body but after a solid minute, it really does little for actual core stabilization.
The RKC plank is a fantastic exercise I learned years ago and have been using it for both core work and teaching full body tension. From a more practical standpoint it is a concept which is important for any lifter trying to improve overall strength during most multi-joint lifts.
I also know that compared to a traditional plank, extending the lever (moving your arms forward and way from the body) and getting posterior pelvic tilt (turning the hips so your lower back is a bit rounded as opposed to arching) has significantly greater rectus and transverse abdomonis activation*. (Study via Bret Contras and Brad Schoenfield)
So why not combine the concepts!
- Arms are more narrow than your shoulders and above your head.
- Posterior pelvic tilt the hips.
- Squeeze the glutes and quads.
- Without moving an inch, create tension like you're attempting to bring your arms and legs toward the middle. For those who know the term "piking" thats what you're attempting to do.
- The final detail is in the breathing. Be sure to take deep breaths in through the nose and forcefully exhale through the mouth. I like the cue: Imagine like you're blowing out a candle using a straw.
This move is more intermediate-advanced movement so I wouldn't throw this at a beginner.
The amount of tension you're looking for will be no more than 10-15 seconds, if that.
If can hold it longer, you need to turn the intensity dial up to 11.