Welcome to the Summer of Core! Each day throughout the month of August we are going to get a little bit stronger with a new core exercise.
A strong core leads to an overall stronger body, better balance, reduced back pain, improved posture and increased mobility. Your core can never be too strong!
We’re starting out with the quintessential core exercise:
I have a love/hate relationship with plank. Sometimes it feels so good, other times I feel weak and unsteady holding it more than five seconds. For our purposes, we’ll begin with a 10 second hold. Each week, our plank hold will increase by 5 seconds. So if you’ve already got a 10 second plank that’s solid, bump it up to 15 or 20 seconds and move on from there for the rest of the month. This is your practice, and I want you to feel challenged.
But I also want you to do plank correctly to get maximum benefit. So I’ll break it down:
Start in hands and knees position.
- Hands shoulder-width apart, fingers spread wide.
- Shoulders over wrists.
- Microbend in elbows, not locked out so as not to strain the ligaments
- Tuck your toes and lift your knees to bring your legs straight.
- You should be in one straight line from your shoulders to your heels.
- Engage your quads.
- Press your heels back.
- Draw in your lower abdominals so they are squeezing toward your spine as if you were expecting a punch to the gut.
- Reach your chest forward slightly so your shoulders can broaden.
- Breathe deeply and slowly.
- Drop onto your knees. Maintain a flat back and contracted abs.
- Drop onto your forearms if straight arms hurts your wrists.
- Strengthens the deep transverse abdominus muscles that act as a girdle through your midsection.
- Strengthens arms and legs if properly engaged.
- Helps reduce lower back pain.
Set a timer or have someone at home time you from the time you are in the full plank position for 10 seconds.
Rest in child’s pose.
Have a great Monday and send me a not to let me know how it goes or if you have any questions!
I teach tomorrow at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Hope to see you on the mat soon!