When it comes to total body strengthening, plank is like a one-stop shop; it strengthens all your structures and works the body as the integrated unit it’s designed to be. So, if you’re interested in getting strong this summer, make this fundamental pose a part of your daily routine. Set a timer for 30 seconds and build up to several minutes! Don’t forget to breathe deeply…

Plank

  • Come onto all fours, placing your hands and elbows shoulder-width apart, pointing your elbows straight back (if they’re locked you won’t be able to do this effectively).
  • Make sure your hands are totally flat as if you were making hand prints into the floor as you push the floor away from you.
  • Engage your core: lift your belly and actively draw your front ribs toward each other.
  • Step one leg back at a time, tucking your toes under so that your heels align over your toes.
  • Keep your face/jaw/neck relaxed.

Feel like you’re having your own personal earthquake? Good. If you’re doing it right, it won’t be easy. Just make sure you’re not shaking so much that it’s causing your form to suffer. If plank feels super tough or your wrists hurt, work it from your forearms instead:

Extra props to all the mamas out there planking with a baby in your belly. That’s what I call extreme planking…

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