I am always looking for a way to tone and strengthen my core. I may not always do the things I research but I have good intentions. Strengthening your core is a great way to improve your running (at least that’s what I have been told). It improves running form and makes you stronger in general.
I have recently started doing push ups. As of last night, I am up to 5! You’re laughing at me right now, but 5 push ups is a pretty big deal for this runner with noodle arms. Runners notoriously have weak upper bodies. We have strong legs and personally, after running 4, 6, 8 miles, I don’t really want to do an arm work-out. But as you probably already know, we lose muscle mass as we age and “they” say it’s important to stay strong. I don’t want to be a weak, fragile old lady. I want to be strong and healthy, physically and mentally, and if doing push ups is going to help, then I’m doing push ups.
Planks are also a great way to strengthen your core, and shoulders. Check out that picture above! It only requires a minute or 2 (or 4 when you get real good) a day to reap the benefits.
I copied this plank challenge from Facebook. Join me in becoming stronger with this full body workout.
The Plank Challenge must be completed in four weeks. At first, you simply start out in the plank position for 20 seconds. Easy, right? Slowly, you build up your stamina until you are planking for four minutes during the final days. Follow this plan:
Day 1 – 20 seconds
Day 2 – 20 seconds
Day 3 – 30 seconds
Day 4 – 30 seconds
Day 5 – 40 seconds
Day 6 – Rest
Day 7 – 45 seconds
Day 8 – 45 seconds
Day 9 – 60 seconds
Day 10 – 60 seconds
Day 11 – 60 seconds
Day 12 – 90 seconds
Day 13 – Rest
Day 14 – 90 seconds
Day 15 – 90 seconds
Day 16 – 120 seconds
Day 17 – 120 seconds
Day 18 – 150 seconds
Day 19 – Rest
Day 20 – 150 seconds
Day 21 – 150 seconds
Day 22 – 180 seconds
Day 23 – 180 seconds
Day 24 – 210 seconds
Day 25 – Rest
Day 26 – 210 seconds
Day 27 – 240 seconds
Day 28 – Until failure
How to Properly Plank
The key to getting great results comes down to perfecting the proper planking position. According to an article from Physical Living
, this is how to do it:
1. Make sure that your arms are positioned correctly. Elbows should be directly under the shoulders to ensure proper weight distribution.
2. The spine should remain straight. Avoid rounding out your spine and putting unnecessary pressure on your neck and back.
3. Make sure to tighten your core so that it benefits from the exercise.
4. Keep your legs slightly spread. Pay attention to how your hips feel during the exercise. There should be no added pressure to the hip area. Adjust the distance between your feet as needed.
5. Your breathing should be slow and deliberate so that your core is fully engaged and your body is relaxed.
You may be wondering why the Planking Challenge makes for such a good workout plan. After all, the exercise seems a bit simplistic to be a full-body workout. However, it is just that. Here’s what planking does for your body:
1. Tones your stomach.
As described above, planking involves using your core to stabilize your body and carry out the physical demands to maintain the proper planking position. The abdominal muscles are engaged during this workout. Over time, those muscles tone and tighten to give you a great-looking stomach.
2. Promotes good posture.
Because your abs play a huge role in your ability to maintain good posture, planking can also be good for your balance and stability. Over time, you’ll be able to stand up straight and achieve a broader range of movement.
3. Increases flexibility.
According to an article published by Mercola.com
, your flexibility will improve as you work your back and shoulder muscles in the plank position. The shoulder blades will actually stretch, which promotes a better range of motion.
Leave me a comment if you are going to take on this challenge. We need to support each other in getting stronger and being the best we can be!
Thanks for reading and stay strong my friends!