I’m a strong believer in plank – just ask my clients – because it targets so many muscle groups at once! It’s especially good for strengthening the lower back, which is a common problem area for many of us. Practicing this pose on a regular basis strengthens your abs, back, chest, shoulders and butt, improves your posture, and helps you kick ass while you’re running *and* in all of your everyday activities!
That’s why the February challenge is 28 days of plank! We’ll work up from 20 seconds to 2 minutes over the course of the month.
In case you’ve never done a plank, or are looking for a refresher, here’s what you need to know:
This is what it looks like:
How to do a plank hold:
- Start in pushup position, with your forearms on the ground instead of your hands.
- Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders. Toes on the ground.
- Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs and lower back muscles.
- Keep a neutral neck and spine, and avoid letting your shoulders sag.
- Create a straight, strong line from head to toes.
- Hold that position.
- Don’t let your hips sag down to the ground (swayback) – this will put strain on your lower back.
- Look down at the ground. This is a good prompt for maintaining a neutral neck position.
- If you can’t hold a full plank at first, start with your knees on the ground, or straighten your arms and hold the pose with your hands.
- Breathe deeply and evenly – this will help you stay in the position for a longer time.
Here’s what it looks like using your hands instead of forearms:
Ready? Print out the full schedule and hang it up in a prominent location – then check off each day’s assignment after you complete it.
In 28 days, you’ll have a stronger core and can amaze your friends by holding a plank for 2 minutes! Who’s in?
Check out the other fitness and running challenges HERE.