Whether your an exercise pro or beginner, I bet crunches and sit ups is or has been a part of your workout routine.
But what about the Plank exercise? Have you heard about it? Have you tried it?
Did you know that
the plank exercise ranked number 10 in the ACE study and is a great way to build endurance in both the abs and back, as well as the stabilizer muscles. (source)
According to Livestrong.com
The plank is superior to the crunch in that it uses more muscle groups. This is true if you perform it correctly. Perform the plank on the balls of your feet and with your pelvis tilted downward to actively solicit 20 muscles in an isometric contraction. In isometric exercise, the muscles are held in contraction without motion in your joints. The benefit of isometric contractions is that you tone without bulking. This exercise provides you with strength in your legs, buttocks, back, stomach, shoulders, and chest. Most importantly, strengthening your core stabilizes your spine, and your spine’s health is vital to your health.
The crazy thing about it is that it seems like it should be so easy. But I’m here to tell you, that couldn’t be more far from the truth! It’s hard! Like—I could only hold that position for 10 seconds-hard! But the fact that it is that tough to hold, along with the soreness I feel all throughout my abdominal muscles and core when I’m done is what keeps me going back for more! I’m a believer!
Here is how to do the basic Plank:
1. Lie face down on the floor or mat while resting on your elbows–keeping your elbows just below your shoulders/armpits.
2. Keep your back and full body straight–don’t let your butt sag or rise up.
3. Hold this pose for as long as you can and repeat.
Now here comes the fun part!
I want to challenge you to do the Plank at least once (or more) everyday for seven days and share your results with The More I Run on Facebook!
While I may not post a picture or my time everyday here on the blog, I WILL post how I did each day (and possibly) a picture on Facebook and I’d love for you to participate, too!
Simply “Like” The More I Run on Facebook to share your comments, struggles, hold-time, etc. with other challenge participants. And if you’ve never tried it before, don’t worry! When I first did one many months ago, I could only hold the pose to a count of 10! But the more I practiced I began to count to 15 then 20 and so on. Now, I set my stopwatch and I’m up to a full two minutes!
Please let me know if you’re in! Let’s encourage one another to do the Plank!
If you think just a few seconds of Plank is hard, check out these rockstar twins Michelle and Lori over at @pure2raw–they are up to five minutes! So inspiring and encouraging!