January, the start of a new year, is traditionally a time when people think about their fitness and set themselves goals for the year ahead. This year is a bit different to normal than most though, in that we find ourselves in yet another lockdown, so the ways in which we can keep active are limited.

Therefore, each Wednesday during January we are going to speak to a GB player to find out what training sessions they like doing at home and why. You can then have a go yourself!

This week we are starting with Kali Holder who talks to us about the benefits of planks for improving our core strength and explains a few different techniques. You can watch her video here!

Below you will find the descriptions to each form of plank that Kali mentioned in her video:

Forearm (or low) plank

Start by lying down on your front. Your elbows should be bent (at a right angle) so that they are directly under your shoulders. Your legs should be hip width apart. Keeping your forearms on the floor, push up on to your toes (squeezing your abs, quads and glutes) and hold. Your back should be flat with your head and neck in a neutral position.

Kali Holder forearm plank.

Straight arm (or high) plank

Hold a press up position (i.e., with your arms straight and the palms of your hands flat on the floor directly under your shoulders). Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your heels.Kali Holder high plank.

Side plank

Start with either a forearm or straight arm plank then lift your left arm and extend into the air. Simultaneously, rotate your body, placing your left leg on top of your right leg and hold. Then repeat but with your right arm and right leg.

Kali Holder side plank.

Reverse plank

As the name implies, a reverse plank is basically a forearm or straight arm plank in reverse in that instead of your body being face down, it is face up.

Kali Holder doing a reverse plank.

Good core strength is really important for goalballers as it helps you to make strong defensive barriers. You don’t need much time or space or any specialised equipment to do planks – other than a yoga mat is beneficial (but not essential) to stop your feet from slipping – so no excuses!

Correct technique is much more important than time so start by trying to hold each plank position for no more than 20 seconds. Then, over a few days, gradually build up the time to 1 minute. Remember to breathe! If you feel any tension in your back at any time, stop.

Give it a go and let us know how you get on! You can challenge yourself further by increasing the number of repetitions. There are also lots of other different techniques so let us know what your favourite is to help you #GetFitStayFit.