What's a move that challenges the entire body, completely engages the core and everyone loves to hate? The Plank! It's so effective and efficient - it should be a go-to if you want to feel strong and get definition in your core. Bonus: you can do it any where and every where!
With a strong core you can improve your posture, reduce back pain and teach your body to act as a unit - which will improve just about every other activity you do like running or hiking and getting up from the couch after binge watching The Office (where my Jim fans at?!).
Here are some basics about planks and some variations to get you started:
A plank is about alignment - keeping your body in a straight line. Place your elbows under your shoulders. Press your forearms into the ground and pull your belly button towards your spine. The goal is to stay here as long as you can, keep your core braced and don't forget to breath (not shallow breathing -- deep breathing is best).
A lot people make the mistake of letting their butt and hips sag - so you need to keep the butt cheeks involved! Squeeze them together. Try to hold it for 10 seconds at a time and build up to 60 seconds. You can do these a few times a day!
2. Plank Jacks
This type of plank adds the benefit of getting your heart pumping! You set this up like a normal plank - either on your forearms or on your hands. Keep your core engaged and jump your feet apart like you would in a jumping jack and then jump them back together. Do as many as you can for 10 seconds and work your way up to 30 seconds. Try these first thing in the morning to wake yourself up!
3. Plank with Knee Tuck
This style of plank increases the oblique focus of the plank. Just like above, start in a plank position. Tuck your left knee in and bring it as close to your right elbow as possible. Return to start and repeat on the other side. Do as many as you can, alternating sides, for 10 seconds and work your way up to 30 seconds.
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