As I See Fit: Plank to Perfection!
- on July 24, 2012
Lately I've been fielding questions from friends and clients that revolve around time. They want to know how they can get maximum results in as little time as possible.
What magic series of exercises must they do to drop 10 pounds and unveil a perfectly sculpted six-pack? Ah, if only it were that easy!
The truth of the matter is, we have got to get over using time, or the lack thereof, as an excuse and an obstacle. I know that this is not easy, and I feel constantly time-crunched as well.
But in order to really begin making strides to address our health and wellness issues, we must change our perspective in regard to the way that we view exercise and the manner in which we incorporate it into our lives.
I think we are conditioned to believe that we must fit in an hour or more workout in order to make it count. And yes, in a perfect world, that would be ideal.
But let's face it, that is simply not always possible. And we will set ourselves up for failure if we try to hold ourselves to that "hour or nothing" mentality.
We have time to exercise. We have time to actively engage in a fit and healthy lifestyle. We just need to look at the clock a little differently and break down strong and effective exercises in an efficient way.
"I don't have time" is an excuse. It's a crutch. It's procrastination, pure and simple. Because there is time.
There is time for 20 squats at some point in your day. Or 20 jumping jacks. For 20 of something. And that counts.
It counts because although you may not have had the time for a full-blown workout, you have achieved more than you thought you would, and you did something. And if you are still trying to find the time and motivation to take that first step, I guarantee that by starting with a simple exercise and a number of repetitions, it will start to become a habit.
You will feel better about yourself and suddenly you will "find" more time for another set. Or you will add in another exercise. You'll do it because the energy boost you get will make you feel so much better. You'll do it because you know you should, to set an example for yourself and others. And you'll do it because true health and wellness, of body and mind, is a journey. And it starts with baby steps.
One of my favorite exercises that can be easily adapted and modified for all fitness levels is the plank. You don't need any equipment to do this exercise, and it is very effective.
Targets your core.
Lie facedown on the floor and prop yourself up on your forearms with your elbows bent 90 degrees. Extend your legs and flex your feet so your toes touch the floor.
Keeping your abs pulled in tight and your back flat, lift your hips so your body weight is supported by your forearms and toes. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds. Squeeze your glutes to prevent your body from sagging in the middle. Do 10 reps of 30 seconds each.
SIDE PLANK WITH A TWIST
Targets shoulders, obliques, quads and glutes.
Lie on right side with elbow on the floor under shoulders, with hips stacked. Push hips up, forming a straight line from head to heels; extend left arm above shoulder.
Bring left arm under body, rotating upper body to the right. Hold for 5 seconds and return to start. Do 6-10 reps and switch sides.