Monday, July 2, 2012

The Plank A Day Challenge

I bet if I did a poll amongst all my runner & triathlete friends about which body part they wished was stronger, I think the overwhelming response would be "my core / abs".  It's an area that often gets neglected as people either don't like to do it or can't seem to fit a full on core workout into their routine.  And by core I don't just mean your abs.  I mean your entire midsection, lower back included.  A lot of people don't realize how much strength and power can be had simply by having a strong core.   I'm not talking about doing 100 crunches at the gym either.  I'm talking about one move that will work at strengthening both your abs and your lower back.  Let me introduce you to the Plank.

How do you do a plank?  Simple.  You get on your feet like you're going to do a push up, bend your arms at 90 degrees and rest on your forearms.  You can either have your arms almost shoulder width apart or closer if you're really strong.  Then, you hold it for as long as you can.  Easy peasy as you can see by the bulging veins in my neck.

Planking - the tough way.

This is how I feel after planking the tough way.  Also known as Planking The Easy Way!

Thanks to the folks at Fit Fluential and Dr. Sherry Pagoto I have embarked on a Plank a Day challenge for the month of July.  My core strength isn't bad but my back strength leaves much to be desired so I figured why not, what have I got to lose? I already do a plank circuit once a week so I figured taking the time to do one plank a day can only make me stronger.  I know I'm able to hold a plank for at least a minute so my goal is to get to 5:00 minutes by the end of July.  A challenging but doable goal especially considering I was able to hold my first plank for 1:45.  I'm going to try to increase the time by 5 seconds per day for the first week and then figure out what I need to do from there.

Do you have a move that you like to do everyday?

Do you want to be a part of the Plank a Day Challenge?  Follow along on twitter @redrunningshoe, @FitFluential @PlankADay and tweet your results.


naghmeh said...

hmm I think mayyybeee I'll try this too. my back strength is minimal so I'd love to work on it!

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Do it!! I'm curious to see if this will help me out on my long runs when my back starts to ache a bit.