Stability Hold – Planking

I recently attended the Primal Movement Chains Workshop that was taught by Perry Nickelston of Stop Chasing Pain and held at Read Performance Training and his teachings have inspired me to work on my static stability systems.  In the images below you will see some images of anterior, lateral and posterior stability holds.  The only one that I am missing is the medial stability hold that I will post at a later date.  For those of you who are interested in finding out more about this stuff, please check out Perry’s courses on his webpage at

One of the big take home messages from the course is that you should be able to hold this position and maintain normal breathing as well as maintaining this position without cheating as such.  Cheating as such could be defined as holding your breathe, scrunching up your face with tension, contracting i.e. plantarflexing your feet to help provide more stability or clenching your fists.  As you can probably see in some of my photos, I may well be cheating in some of these poses and it will be my goal to improve on this.

Now, how long should you hold these poses for?  Well, I was actually listening to a podcast by Dan John on the Strength Matters podcast yesterday and he was discussing how he will assess his clients ability to hold a plank for 2 minutes.  So my goal is to try and be able to do each of these for 2 minutes.   What I found out this morning that whilst I might be able to hold a plank (anterior line) and side plank (lateral line), I have a long way to go and lots of training to do in order to get to 2 minutes for a posterior line or medial line hold.  From memory I think they might have only been 30 seconds each.  So watch this space for an update on this.

Posterior Stability Hold – Low Bridge Plank










Lateral Stability Hold – Side Plank










Anterior Stability Hold – Plank










Posterior Stability Hold – High Bridge Plank











This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams at Principle Four Osteopathy.  At Principle Four Osteopath we provide a range of services, including osteopathy manual therapy consultations, functional movement screening, exercise prescription, strength and conditioning and rehabilitation.

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