Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Healthy Tuesday - Plank Exercise

Do you have lower back pain? Upper back pain? Hip Pain? Do you slouch when you sit and stand? Do you hate doing crunches?

If so, then I have the move for you! It's easy, does not require any special equipment and has fast results.

The Plank

First - the benefits. You can see by the picture that this works the entire body. You are strengthening your abdominals, neck and back muscles, triceps, biceps, gluts, hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles. Wow! Impressive, eh?  This is truly a CORE exercise.

Now, the technique. Lie down on your belly on the floor. Now lift your body weight up onto your elbows and toes. Your arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle and your body should make a straight line from your head to your heals. Get that butt down! Keep you neck straight and don't arch it trying to look up at the TV (you may need to pause the show you are watching).

Don't forget to breathe!

If you have not tried this exercise before, please know that it will be hard. It sure looks simple and seems like a position you could rest in all day long. NOT!

Your goal for the first time should be to hold this 20 seconds. Take a rest for 20 seconds and hold the position again. Do this for 3 repetitions.

But don't worry. You will see results quickly. Soon you'll be able to hold for 30 seconds, then a minute and then 2 minutes.

To increase the intensity, do a set of abdominal crunches before each plank. This will increase the work on the abdominals.

For an added heart benefit - try reciting and meditating on the verse below. It is one of my favorites.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

1 comment:

  1. the "don't forget to breathe" suggestion is key! I always forget to breathe! Love the scripture! Thanks for sharing with Healthy 2day Wednesdays! Hope you'll participate this week!


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