The classic plank and its variations are exercises that can make even the fittest person question life’s purpose. When holding the plank position seconds can turn into what can seem like weeks.
This core strengthening exercise is an effective and efficient way to trim down around the belly, arms, back, glutes, and upper part of our legs. It’s a great exercise that can be done quickly and without equipment.

How to:
Start in plank position with forearms and toes on the floor (almost like a push-up that has given up on life).
Tighten your core to form a straight line with your body without sagging or bending.
Keep your head relaxed while looking at the floor (or your smartphone…or a BOOK if you’re really ambitious).
Hold this position for as long as you can. Start at 10 seconds and build up to a minute (or more if you’re Hercules).

Benefits of the plank are:

Supports proper posture
Improves balance
Increases endurance
Strengthens your core
Makes swimsuit season less petrifying

Are you excited to get started? Is the full plank position too difficult? That’s ok! There’s always a modification to suit all fitness levels. Drop to your knees and hold the plank position just like so:

Is your stomach feeling stronger already? Now it’s time to try the side plank.

In addition to tightening your core, side planks help strengthen shoulders, arms, and wrists.
With the extra concentration required, you will be a superhero if you can do these every single day. Remember to switch sides so that you don’t walk funny.

 

…..and here is a modification of the side plank:

 

When you’re feeling crazy go ahead and start lifting legs and arms to create a challenge.

Reminder: Before starting any exercise, check with your physician. Your health and well-being are important to us.

Most importantly remember that FITNESS IS FUN!