Remember the plank challenge? Yeah, you know the one that made you hit unfollow because your Facebook feed was littered with people excising before 8am. If you have never tried to plank you might wonder what all the fuss is about and question how it is even beneficial, but this simple little exercise is harder than you think.
In addition to a toned tummy, planking is actually really great for strengthening your inner core which can help with reducing lower back pain. Other muscle groups will benefit from planking like around your shoulders, collarbone and shoulder blades and then all the way down to your hamstrings, the arches of your feet and your toes. If you want to mix things up and add your sides into the mix you can include the side plank into your routine.
Here is the down low on how to plank like a pro:
1: Get into pushup position on the floor.
2: Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
3: Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
4: Relax your head, you should be looking at the floor.
5: Hold the position for as long as you can.
6: Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
If you want to give the 30 day challenge a go:
Days 1-2: Hold for 20 seconds
Days 3-4: Hold for 30 seconds
Day 5: Hold for 45 seconds
Day 6: Rest
Days 7-8: Hold for 45 seconds
Day 9: Hold for 60 seconds
Days 10-30: Increase by 30 seconds every 2-3 days. By day 30, you’ll be up to 300 seconds.
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