Remember when "all the rage" was actually a cool thing to say?????
Like the burpee, I didn't even know what a plank was until a little over a year ago.
Go ahead and Google Image "planking". I don't know why I think those pictures are so funny! Maybe it's because I just had a Cranberry Vodka Lime drink? In any case, the above pictures were all I knew of planking until I decided that there were other ways to be fit besides running!
In this second edition of my favorite exercises, we shall focus on THE PLANK. You should do planks. While planks do strengthen your core, they're also a full body workout. Save time, do planks!
How to do planks
First of all, there are about a billion ways to do planks. Just Google "plank variations" and you will find all different kinds. I am a fan of the basics: elbow plank and side plank.
I found this article that explains how to correctly do a plank, as well as offers some more advanced variations to the exercise. I am excited to try them! I am at the point that as long as it's not a shoulders day, I can hold a plank for a really long time. Time to make the exercise more difficult!
My new favorite way to plank:
I have to work my core so much harder to maintain balance!
Why do planks?
1. You don't need any equipment to do a plank and you can do it anywhere!
2. Planks work all the muscles in your core- not just your "6 pack", but all the muscles that help stabilize your body.
3. Planks burn more calories than sit ups because they engage more muscles than just the core.
4. Speaking of engaging muscles, planks tone up the entire body because they work your shoulders, chest, core, lower back, glutes, quads and calves.
You can do planks and crunches and sit ups 'til the cows come home, but you're never going to see a 6 pack if your abs are covered with a layer of fat. They say a 6-pack is made in the kitchen. Proper nutrition and a low body fat percentage is critical if you ever want to get "those dingers to pop" (as my husband would say!). I definitely have a 2-pack going on, and I think I'm about 1 stomach flu away from a 4-pack... Anything beyond that would require me to give up salt, alcohol, and ice cream and I am not prepared to do that!
Do you like to do planks?
What is the longest you've ever held a plank?