Saturday, October 31, 2015

Get down and assume the position!

The Planking on the Fly CHALLENGE...get down and assume the position!





Are you a planker?  Do you want to become a planker? Do you want to become a better planker? If so, read on! It's time for the Planking on the Fly CHALLENGE!

Planking is a great way to work (and strengthen!) your core. Did you know your core serves a valuable purpose, not just for running, but also in your everyday life? Having a strong core helps you with your day-to-day activities by enhancing your balance and perfecting your posture (just to name a couple).

So, how does one "plank?" There is more than one way to do a plank, depending on your strength and fitness level. The main thing to remember when planking (no matter which position) is to focus on your form...abs held in, butt squeezed tight, back kept straight (not hunched or rounded), and try to keep your head level with your back (not up too high or bent way down). Flexing the leg muscles will help you to stay in position. Also, I recommend you wear shoes to protect your toes. Doing these on a yoga mat will protect your elbows and keep you from "sliding." And when you start to feel your form failing, it's time to stop. It will take time to build your strength and stamina, so be patient but persistent.

Here's the basic plank. You balance on your toes and hands for as long as you're able:
It also helps to have a dog to spot you....

This is basically the same plank, but a little more challenging...balancing on your forearms and toes:

Again, with the dog. His name is Max. 
Even more challenging is the Chaturanga position.....down in a push-up position, just inches from the floor:
This position will take some time to perfect....and you probably will not be able to hold it for as long as the other positions

You can plank on your side, balancing on your hands and feet:
You can also stack the top foot onto the bottom foot, but I prefer it this way. Be careful to hold your upper hip up (and don't let it sway downward) 
You can do a side plank while balanced on the forearm and feet. This position is more difficult and you will really feel your hip flexors working:
Again, keep the hips UP (and not swayed downward)


So, what is happening with the Planking on the Fly CHALLENGE? I'm challenging YOU to plank every day. Set a goal for a total number of #Novemberplankingminutes for the month of November, and work towards reaching (or surpassing) it.  Set the number high, and do a little each day. 

My goal? I'm shooting for 200 #Novemberplankingminutes in the #plankingontheflyCHALLENGE. Sounds like a lot, huh!  Breaking it down, I have to average just under 7 minutes of planking each day. Of course, that means I will need to get down on the floor more than once every day (hello? a 7-minute plank? not happening for me...yet). Every morning, I plank for 2:30 while my chai latte' is heating, so that's my starting point. Lately, I've been doing a longer plank in the evening as well...anywhere from 4-5 minutes in length. If I'm not feeling like doing that long plank in the evening, I can do a couple of shorter planks instead. Or, I can do a few random short planks during the day. All of the minutes add up.

So, my challenge to you is to give it a shot! I'll try to do a nightly post, sharing my stats on Facebook at Running on the Fly  and Instagram at @runningonthefly and I invite you to share/post your stats as well (and remember to use the hashtags #Novemberplankingminutes and #plankingontheflyCHALLENGE, so we all can support and encourage each other). If we all do this together, it will be that much easier to be accountable. And we'll all be stronger for the effort!



Are you ready to get down and assume the position? What is YOUR goal? Do you have a dog to monitor your progress?

30 comments:

  1. Looks fun! I'll see what I can do.... :p

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  2. Ha! The thought of me holding a 7 minute plank is laughable! :) But I love this post. Nice job. And your sneakers... The colors are awesome! Good luck with getting your 200 minutes in!!

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    1. My longest plank to date is 6 minutes (and a couple of seconds)...and that happened ONCE. And it was tough LOL The sneakers are Brooks Adrenalines GTS...I have had them since August and totally love them ;-) (BTW-do you have a blog? or a link?...just curious ;-) I'm always looking for people with similar interests to follow & gain inspiration from)

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  3. First one of the day...2:09, morning after PR squats. Buns and hams are on fire!

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    1. woot woot!!!!! Awesome start!! Be sure to keep a chart or some kind of a log, so you'll have all you minutes accounted for ;-) Way to go fRAN!!

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  4. Love it! 5 minutes is my longest so far, and I find by switching it up, side to side every 20 seconds, then back to regular, helps the time go by faster!

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    1. absolutely! I usually am usually scrolling on my phone or Ipod, and that helps me ;-)

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  5. I've never timed it to see how long I can plank but I'm adding that to today's workout! Planing is such a fantastic exercise and I love seeing all of these modifications!!

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    1. I love planking, too! Every little bit helps, and it doesn't take long to see (and feel!) progress.

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  6. I love to plank!

    and this blog title is the best ever!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks!! I always think of my junior high PE teacher...he'd have students do push-ups for "punishment" and he would say, "Assume the position." I wasn't one of those kids, though LOL

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  7. I love to plank!

    and this blog title is the best ever!

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  8. I am terrible at planking and definitely need the accountability!!

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    1. Care to join us? It's never too late! You could plank with your BOSU...toes (or elbows) balanced on it ;-)

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  9. I've tried planking a few times. It's something I should work on. I have a problem with my elbow so I'm glad you posted pics of the different options. Maybe I can find one that works. It is very nice to meet you through the hop!

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    1. Yes, do give some of the modified positions a try! There are SO many different ways to plank...if you need to stay off your elbows, you could experiment with different versions on the basic pose (like doing push-ups, but just holding it "down.") Good luck!! ;-) Glad to meet you ;-)

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  10. Planks are one killer workout! I am aways in awe of people like you who can make them look easy!
    I have tried them a few times, not enough to actually build my upper body and core to make them look well:) But now I am thinking I really should incorporate them more into my weekly routines, I can't run as much as I want right now so I need to do stuff like this that isn't as much pressure on my ankle.

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    1. Well, planks take time to perfect LOL It's easy to do a few "short" planks throughout the day, and try to hold them 10- seconds longer each time. Before long, you'll be amazed at how long you can hold the position (just make sure to be holding everything nice & tight as you do so). If your ankle is giving you trouble, you could try balancing the top of your feet (not your toes) on a foam roller (or a yoga block)...that might take some pressure off the feet/ankles. Good luck ;-)

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  11. The forearm plank is actually easier for me. I think because I have more on the ground. I can't hold Chaturanga.

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    1. Chaturanga is tough!!! I held it for 30 seconds last night and was almost shaking after 15 seconds LOL

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  12. I love challenges! Yay! Also, have the same leggings! Old Navy has my absolute fav pair!

    www.amodernshorelife.com

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    1. I have great luck with workout gear at Old Navy! I don't need the pricey name brand stuff to make me happy ;-)

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  13. I need to do planks more often but I hate them! I know they are really good for my core and I need to build more core strength! I cannot imagine holding a plank for 7 minutes. I am thinking I need to add planking to my goals for next year.

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    1. Planking is an "easy" way to see results quickly. If you haven't done them before now, start out trying to hold it for maybe 15 seconds (or longer). Each time you plank, try holding it for 5-10 seconds longer. I have found that even when I think I just can't hold it any longer, I can usually go an extra 5 seconds longer...I bet you could, too!

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  14. I'm awful at planking, but I have to say I have similar sofas and my dog also loves to "help" me work out :-)

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    1. Well, there you go! Planking takes time (and patience) to perfect, but is worth it. My dog usually likes to get in my way LOL....he likes to crawl under me (and stretch out for a nap) when I'm planking (#awkward)

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  15. I really this motivation to plank. I know it is good for me. But I even have trouble holding it for 1 minute.

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    1. You don't have to start out with a minute...you can start with whatever works for YOU. Try to hold a plank, and see how long you can hold it....then every day, try to go a little bit longer. You just may surprise yourself ;-)

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  16. I love planks! I've never tried the sport planking other than in my own living room, barre studio or at the gym. I am jelly of the lovely wood floors!

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