Fit Tip: Drop Into A Plank Pose!

It’s a love/hate relationship.  Love the results, hate doing more than one.  Planks are tough, but effective.  They are a great total body move that draws in your core while working your arms and legs at the same time.  Drop into one any time you have an extra minute or two.

To start, try a bent arm plank with 3 sets for 30 seconds each.  Work up to 1 minute sets and add variations.

Some of my personal favorite variations are:

  • While in a bent arm plank, shift your weight forward over your hands and back flexing your feet.  Repeat for the length of your set. 
  • Plank Switches (AKA Mountain Climbers).  In a raised arm plank lift one foot up and to the side (shown above).  Place it completely on the ground.  Lift back to plank.  Repeat on the other side.  The keys is to maintain a strong plank pose (abs pressed in, shoulders over your hands, butt not too high or too low) and to touch the whole foot to the ground.  Go slow for a stretch or fast.
  • In a bent arm plank, drop knees but maintain good pose posture.  Lift.  Repeat.

  • To remove stability, lift a foot off the ground.  Lift slightly out or up, hold and switch feet.  You can also remove the stability by adding a stability disk, Bosu, or ball under your feet or hands.

  • Work the obliques in plank. Move to a side plank on your forearm.  Raise your other arm in the air.  It’s nice to check your alignment in a mirror.  Make sure hips and shoulders are stacked.  Hold this for 20-30 seconds and switch sides.  As it gets easier add 20 counts of moving your arm towards the ground and back up, and hip dips (A, B). 

The purpose of these small, subtle movements is to change the center of gravity.  Shifting this engages more muscles as well as your core, making the movement more effective.

Cat Breaths go well in between planks.

For a complete ab workout, see Awesome Abs!

XO Miriam

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