Recently, Javin added a little challenge at the end of class. It’s only five minutes long… Five minutes of planks!
We do one minute at a time with a little break after each minute. It may not sound like much, but believe me… we feel all 300 seconds of it!
If you’re not familiar, a plank is an excellent core exercise. A basic plank is like a push up position- you just stay at the top of it. I works your arms, shoulders, back, abdominal muscles, booty, and legs. As with a push up, if being up on your toes is too challenging, or doesn’t feel good on your lower back, just drop to your knees.
There are many ways to change up your plank to work even harder. If your core isn’t screaming with straight arms, you can drop to your forearms by bringing your elbows down to the floor. Or, to make it even more challenging, switch between straight arms and forearms continuously for a minute by moving one arm at a time- up, up, down, down, up, up, down, down…. it’s killer.
You can add more challenge to your lower body by walking your feet out wide then in narrow, or alternate tapping them up near your hand. Or alternate lifting your legs straight up toward the ceiling to work your booty more.
To work your obliques, keep one arm and foot on the floor and roll to balance on them. Be sure to lift your hips up away from the floor. Or, stay in that basic plank position and dip your hips toward the floor to the left then right- continue for a minute.
Javin’s plank challenge is a great example of how little changes make a big difference. We’re all busy, but if we can make five extra minutes a couple times a week, we can strengthen and tone our whole body with this one simple exercise.
Photo: The Super Analyst