Plank into 2018

Author: Patrick Jay

Welcome to 2018, the year where you finally achieve those goals and stop dreaming about them. For many of us, our fitness is is at the top of our list for new years resolutions. Unfortunately, if you are like some of me, you cease to form solutions for your resolutions and fall back into the same old routine. Not this year! This year is the year we finally take a stand and remain true to the promises we made on New Year’s Eve while we were enjoying the champagne buzz.

An exercise that is sure to get your butt back in shape this year is the dreaded plank. Oh, the flashbacks to college soccer practices after a tough loss. In all seriousness, planking isn’t really that bad. Think about it, you can plank anywhere, the activity requires minimal movement, and those gains! You could be planking right now!

Controversially, the route of strength and all things blubber, is right in our core. That means our abs and our midsection including the glutes all the way up to our shoulders.

The most important tip that I can give you is to have fun with yourself or whomever you may be exercising with. Planking is a great exercise to do with friends and even your children. You are able to challenge yourself and fellow ‘plankers’ by finding out who can hold the plank the longest. There is never anything wrong with a little friendly competition. Perhaps the winner could be treated to a special treat or a little extra exercise after hours, if you happen to be working out with a significant other.

The purpose of exercise is not just to better your body but also your attitude and the outlook of yourself and others around you. I don’t want you to just look good, I want you to feel good! Have fun with it!

My next tip is to learn the basics before over-exerting yourself. Part of the fun is expanding your art and every professional was once a beginner. This is very important to keep in mind because it will greatly reduce your risk of injury. We want to tone our muscles, not cramp them.

Remember to keep your body in a straight line and tilt your head upward. This will reduce strain on the body and focus the tension directly to your core. The lower back should also be in line with your shoulders and ankles throughout the plank.

We are not trying downward dog poses so keep your butt down.

When it’s time to take it to the next level, then you can try elevated planks. Elevate your feet on the edge of a bed or coffee table with your upper body about 4 to 6 inches from the floor and hold for a good 5 minute plank.

Rest. Rest. Rest.

Then, with your entire body on the ground, extend your right arm and lift your left leg and hold for 2 minutes and switch. Remember! You have to keep all of your limbs straight and in line with the rest of your body. The possibilities are endless and once you start seeing results it will become an addiction.

The last tip which I have for you is do not give up. I cannot stress this enough. No matter what your goals may be. No matter how far away they may seem. Those little baby steps that do not seem so big will ad up and before you know it, you will be walking into 2019 a whole new you. A lot can change in 365 days.

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