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Mini Plank for Optimal Core Activation

  This pre-exercise is phenomenal for anyone who has ever had a baby, C-section, hysterectomy, abdominal surgery, sits at a desk, or has core weakness. Elise Badone, Muscle Activation Technique Specialist, has come up with this isometric.  This looks like a "knee plank" but there is much more to it.  You will actually feel your TVA and pelvic floor muscles waking up and firing much more efficiently with the way that Elise has you do this exercise.

Since I personally have had 2 Cesareans in a 24 month time span, I lost proper communication from my pelvic floor and abdominal muscular system to the brain.  The fact that I had two babies that were very large for my frame, in such a short time span, didn't help either!  With that being said as I became stronger my body became a very good over compensator.  Which happens to anyone who has had any trauma in that region.  Same goes with anyone who has had hip, knee, foot, ankle, or any sort of injury!

Those with C-sections and abdominal surgery may also suffer from having extra scar tissue.  You will want to talk to a scar tissue mobilization specialist or trained massage therapist that knows how to break it up properly!  If you have any painful scar tissue build up, no amount of exercise will help regain and restore your abdominals close to 100% if you do not take care of it.  I still have painful scar tissue and will be researching some specialists soon.  However, still do what you can in the mean time.

In this video, as you probably noticed,  Elise shows 2 ways to release from the exercise.  Hips down first, then leg lowers and vice versa for the last rep.  The preferred method is leg lowering first, then the hips.   The main point is make sure they both lower down at the same time.

You can find Elise at to learn more about her Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) work.
Make sure you do this exercise before you engage in any activities such as running, kettlebells, weight training, cycling, anything you enjoy.  This will make a big difference.

Stay tuned for more exercises like this.  To view a few more exercises I found helpful for me and postnatal clients, check out this old post from after I had my first baby.  View Here

For more training tips and nutrition or to work with Lauren from any where in the world go to and follow her youtube channel. Get on Lauren's Playground waitlist where you can do any of her strength and conditioning classes right from your home here.  

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Jilligan said…
thanks for posting this Lauren! I couldn't link to it in your FB post, so this was very helpful!
Unknown said…
SO awesome!!! I wish I lived near you so I can come to your classes! Thanks for sharing!! I just had a c-section and am finally able to exercise. Still have numbness so I think this will help. Do you have an ipad app?
xo all the way from Montecito, CA
Unknown said…
This is awesome!!! I had a c-section 7 months ago and still feel numbness. Finally get to exercise! Do you have an ipad app for your exercises?
joy said…
I've had 2 c-sections (8 and 11 yrs ago. I teach kickboxing 2x a week and also workout (cardio and weights) almost daily. I've always felt that something wasn't connecting in my abs. We do planks with variation moves in my kickboxing class. I am going to fwd this to ladies in my class and start doing it in the resistance section of our workout. Thanks so much! Joy
Steve said…
I'd like to add this one would probably also work well for people recovering from hernia's. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

My site: does creatine help?
Hokeyspoons said…
I am confused, do you lower the hips first or the legs? Thanks...
Lauren Brooks said…
nomads2, it's either or. I actually prefer the hips down first then the legs.
So this is basically a limited range spinal flexing in a prone position. The plank posture is maintained as the client slowly and under active control...draws her ribs to her hips (pubis)this activated the long flat superficial muscle of the abdominal region. A great way to correctly put stimulus in that region without disrupting smooth coordinating joint control. Nice job!
Jess said…
That was great! I have had a C section and have struggled to get my fitness back. I will definitely add this to my exercise routine. The video was excellent.
Unknown said…
I like this video, its good, but should i let the legs down first then the hips? or the other way round? As in the beginning you say bring the hips down first then the legs but at the end of the video you say let the legs down first then the hips!! Or does this make a difference to the exercise?
Lauren Brooks said…

When you're done doing this plank. Drop your hips down and then your legs. Hope this helps!

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