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Fitness Friday: Prime Your Plank

Remember a few years back when “planking” was all the rage?  In my world it still is.  The plank is one exercise that never goes out of style.  What makes it such a classic?  Considering the minimal effort it takes to get into and the low chance of injury (unless you are one of those crazy people planking on top of a basketball hoop, street sign, or two camels….seriously, google it…) the plank offers some amazing health benefits.  Performing this one exercise can help tone abdominal muscles, improve posture, and reduce back pain.

Ready to incorporate planking into your life?  Read on:

Start With the Basics: To perform a basic plank, place the forearms on the floor aligning shoulders and elbows.  Carefully walk the knees back until your hips are aligned with the rest of the torso.  Tuck toes under and raise knees off of floor.  Hold for as long as you can.  Working up to 60 seconds is a good starting point, but feel free to go longer as you feel able.

Supe Up Your Strength:  A pushup is a moving plank, but your upper body workout doesn’t have to stop there.  Once you are proficient at low plank, see how many times you can move to high plank (or pushup position) then back to low without putting your knees down.  Add a pushup to your high plank for extra credit.

Do Some Horizontal Cardio:  And no, I am not talking about the mambo.  Once you’ve mastered high plank position, try some plank jacks by jumping your feet out then back together, all the while maintaining plank position.

For more fitness ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

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