The last time we saw the Copenhagen boards in We have a summary of the best bodyweight exercises that really build strength. But it is an underappreciated exercise that deserves to be highlighted. The Copenhagen board A bit like a side plank: YYou lean on your hand or elbow, your other arm off the ground, and try to hold your body in a rigid position. But what makes Copenhagen special is that you don’t rest your feet or knees on the ground. No, you are a place One Your leg (upper leg) is on a bench. This means that you need to use the inner thigh muscle on that upper leg to lift yourself. It’s a killer leg exercise, and it has benefits beyond just adding variety to your routine.
What are the benefits of the Copenhagen Board?
This exercise gets its name (and moderate popularity) from research from Denmark that showed it helps prevent quadriceps in athletes. Our inner thigh muscles are called the hip adductors, They are responsible for pulling our legs towards each other. Many of the muscles in this group are thin and can be prone to tearing or straining (“pulling”), so the researchers used this exercise to strengthen the adductor muscles.
Worked: Programs including “Copenhagen horned exercise” Make those close to male soccer players strongerAnd while it’s not a silver bullet for preventing thigh strains, it does appear to be useful.
In addition to strengthening the adductor muscles, the Copenhagen board also contains elements of the natural side plank, which means it has the side effect of strengthening a variety of core muscles, including your oblique muscles. Even your muscles, the muscles on the outer side of your hips, seem to get a bit of a boost from training this exercise.
(And yes, those two words are very similar. Abductors bring your leg away from your body, just like an alien abduction takes a person away from Earth. Adductors bring your legs in toward your midline; the two letter D’s in the middle may help you remember that they bring the legs together.)
How exactly do I do a Copenhagen plank?
The basic idea is to support your upper body on your forearm or hand, while your leg is supported on a bench or another object. In team practices, a partner can stand up and hold your leg while you’re doing the exercise.
Start with as much of your leg on the support as possible. In order of easiest to hardest, the progression goes:
- Knee or thigh on the bench
- Shin or foot on the bench
- Dipping the hips toward the ground and back up, repeatedly (This can be done in either position.)
While planks are often done for increasingly long periods of time, you don’t have to take that approach to get the benefits out of the Copenhagen plank. Try a 10-second hold, repeated three times with rest in between as needed. When that gets easy, try a harder variation.
What if I can’t do a Copenhagen plank?
If you can’t do any of the versions above, even the one with your knee on the bench, one way to modify is to keep your free leg on the ground. Lift your hips mostly with the top leg, but use some support from the bottom leg to help.
If you’re still not comfortable with that, you may need to do side planks (from the knees is fine) to build up your core strength, and look elsewhere for adductor exercises. exercise adductor bands It’s a good place to start, and you can also do single leg movements like stepping exercises to work the adductors along with the other leg muscles.