Exercise can get very stale if you don’t shake it up and try something new. Your body adapts very quickly to whatever stress is placed on it. By changing up your exercise routine, your body will not become accustomed to the same movements and you will get the greatest benefit from exercise. I challenge you to try a new exercise each week right along side me.
The exercise for this week is … The Plank. I never appreciated the power of the plank until one of my bootcamp instructors had us end each session with holding a series of plank exercises. In many exercise circles this is considered the most effective and powerful move to build a strong core. Once I started to do this on a consistent basis I appreciated how a simple move can tone and strengthen so many parts of your body (core, abs, spine, arms and wrist) without moving! The part of the plank that I appreciate the most is the mental challenge. During those 30 seconds to 2 minutes there is a total awareness of every muscle in your body. Those last moments while your body quivers and shakes, you push yourself to hold on even when you think it is impossible to do. That is biggest victory in exercise, to go just a touch past comfort zone of what you have always done.
The Plank is a basic exercise from yoga. Proper form is essential in order to get the most benefit from the exercise. The basic plank can be held in 3 different ways: Front Plank, High Plank and if you are new to the plank I recommend the Modified Plank. Start off holding the position daily for 10-30 seconds. Go slow and when you feel ready add about 10-20 seconds each week. Your ultimate goal should be to hold a plank for about 2 minutes. The joy of the plank is you can do this anywhere. In the morning right when you wake up next to your bed, during commercials while watching your favorite TV show, at the end of walk or work.
Join me this week with a challenge to plank each day!