Monday, May 16, 2011

#Fitblog Plank Challenge, Week 1: Tips and Technique

It is a dreary Monday in Toronto, but I am happy nonetheless as today is the first day of...

Check out Morgan @ Life After Bagels for some suggested weekly blog topics.  I will be posting on each topic every Monday along with my challenge updates, starting next week.

I performed my initial test yesterday and I was able to hold the plank for 1 minute and 30 seconds. (A good place to start, I think :)

Here is my program:

  • I will be incorporating plank work (in all its wonderful forms) into my exercise routines 4 times a week.
  • I will include yoga and pilates to work on balance and strength.
  • I will increase my time by 10 seconds a day.
  • My end goal is 5 minutes.

There are many variations that can be done to plank pose to suit your exercise level and challenge your muscles (which I will be sharing with you every week, along with my updates).

Susan @ The Great Balancing Act has done a fantastic post at Life After Bagels offering some great tips about performing the plank, so I am just going to add a few more points:

  •  The plank can be performed in a low (on the forearms) or a high (on the hands) position.  Both can be very challenging and work the muscles in different ways, so try to incorporate both into your program.
  • If you are just starting out, begin performing the plank with your knees on the floor and work your way up to your toes.  You can do this in intervals.  For example, hold the plank on your knees for 30 seconds and then on your toes for 10 seconds.  Then, gradually decrease the time on your knees and increase the time on your toes.
  • Try to keep your abdominals contracted throughout the exercise, but DON'T hold your breath.

Are you starting the challenge today?  What are your goals?

Stay Healthy,

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