Thursday, December 16, 2010

Plank With Me

Everyone has a lot going on this week, which is also slowing things down here at "So Maybe Mom Was Right." Our ladies are taking finals, grading finals, tending to sick babies, tending to unborn babies, and preparing for the holidays. As we've mentioned before, it's important to prioritize to keep yourself healthy (and sane!). finals are done...which means I'm here to torture you with a workout and remind you that even in the busiest of times, fitness will keep you healthy and sane as well!

I’ve mentioned before that I have a membership at a local gym. That means if I do have to workout at home for some reason, I don’t like to spend a lot of money on home gym equipment. I’m already paying a good amount for use of someone else’s equipment, so it’s hard to justify the extra expense when I’m on a graduate student/newly married person’s budget. The only pieces of fitness equipment I own are a ball, resistance bands, and small hand weights.

During weeks like this, when there is a lot going on, I like to have things I can do at the drop of a hat. This especially comes in handy on those days where I start trying to convince myself “I just don’t have time for anything today.”  You’ve heard it time and time again, something is better than nothing when it comes to work out…and we both have ten minutes to do something.

I’ve preached the wonder of the pushup multiple times. So I thought it was about time I introduce you to one of my other quick and effective home workouts (which is actually quite similar) – the plank.

The plank is, in my opinion, one of the most effective core workouts that you can get in a short time. It works your stomach, lower back, and rear, among other things. I have even made my husband a plank believer. One of the good things about the plank is that you can adjust the difficulty level by making simple modifications.

Today I’ll show you how to do the Basic Plank because it’s a good jumping off point for beginners.

 The Basic Plank:

·      Begin with your forearms and toes on the floor. Keep your weight evenly distributed between elbows and toes.
·      Keep your back and torso straight (similar to when doing pushups). Don’t drop your rear and don’t push it out. Focus on keeping your abdominal muscles tight.
·      Keep your head relaxed and looking at the floor.
·      Build up to holding the plank for 30, 45, or 60-second sets. 

*If this is too difficult, you can modify the basic plank and do a Kneeling Plank. For the kneeling plank, begin with your knees and forearms on the floor (rather than starting from your toes).

Some Additional Variations of the Plank:

The Side Plank:
·      My least favorite, but excellent at exercising those obliques/love handles


The Straight Arm Plank:
·      My go-to plank choice

Elbow on-the-ball Planks:
·      Difficult but the results are worth it!

Links to Health:
(I’ve got a lot of interesting ones for you this week!)


  1. These hurt so bad but so good!

  2. I start all of my clients off with multiple varieties of planks. They are great for your shoulders too! never underestimate the strength of your core! Its the most important part of the body.