The workout for this week focuses on strengthening your back, shoulders, and abdominal muscles. Planking is a very simple exercise that engages multiple muscle groups. Start out by lying flat on your stomach with your head looking straight forward. Then lift your body about 6 inches off the ground and hold the position by using your forearms and the pads of your feet. Remember to try to keep your back as flat as possible and always look straight ahead. You should start to feel the muscles working in your abdomen and back. Hold the position for as long as you can (ideally about 30-45 seconds), then rest. Also, remember to tighten your stomach muscles while doing this exercise to really engage your core. Keep doing sets like this until you can’t hold yourself up any longer. Not feeling enough of a burn? Try holding the position while simultaneously lifting one leg or one arm off the ground.
Planking is a great exercise because it doesn’t require anything but a flat surface. Try planking in between commercial breaks of your favorite TV show!
For more help with plank exercises, watch this short instructional video demonstrating the proper plank workout. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PakcSsjel8
Want more fitness ideas? If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more healthy ideas to get—and stay—fit.