Exercise of the Week–PLANK

Just because it is such a great exercise for the whole body and because everyone loves it so much. Hey, it’s only the exercise of the week. Just try to do it once every day for seven days. Think about how much easier it will become by day seven!

Here’s how you do it:

Lie down on your stomach.
(Legs together ideally or slightly apart if you tend to have tension in the low back.)

Prop your upper body up on your elbows. (Make sure your elbows are right beneath your shoulders, not forward.)

Lift your hips off the ground (balancing on your knees and elbows). Your hips should be in line with the shoulders and the knees.

To make the exercise more challenging, curl your toes under and lift up onto your toes. You should be holding in a straight line.

Whether your are on your knees (beginner version) or on your toes (advanced version), you want to keep your hips in line with the shoulders and knees/toes. Lifting the hips up too high by sticking your butt toward the sky is cheating, but won’t hurt you. Allowing your hips to sag will create a lot of tension on the low back. Try not to sag. If you feel your hips sagging or feel any tension in your low back, lower down.

Hold for 30 seconds on day one, 45 seconds the next, and increase the time each day to try and hold for 2 minutes by day seven. It’s okay to interchange between the toes and the knees to stay up for the whole 2 minutes. Work at your level. Remember to breath and pull your belly button toward your spine to help support your back. You’ll feel so strong afterward.

Note: This exercise can be hard on the shoulders and the back. Always listen to your body and take breaks as needed. Build slowly. Also, your whole body should be shaking by the end. That is normal. If your muscles don’t feel tired at the end, you might have selected a position that is too easy for you.


About the Author:

Maggie Downie
Thank you for giving your time to stop and read my blog. I hope it encourages you to keep moving. Move and the body will be happier. And when you're moving you can hike, run, swim in Jell-O, race over non-Newtonian fluids, travel the world or build igloos--if that's your thing. If not, you can watch me do it. This is just a spot to try and feel good about life.

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