Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Let's Plank in November!


I believe runners need to be more than "just runners."

It's in their best interest to be less esoteric in their endeavors.I believe they should also be plankers.

Running and planking? Yes, these two co-exist nicely. Running provides excellent cardio, physical stamina, and mental well-being for the peeps who partake. Planking enhances the running experience by increasing core strength, which in turn aids in balance and stability.

A year ago, I hosted a Planking on the Fly CHALLENGE (you can read about it  HERE ). It was pretty well-received, so here we go again!


Why is planking such a passion of mine? In a nut shell, it works the core. By working the core, doing planks will enhance your balance as well. Personally, I loathe the "old standby" known as the crunch. Granted, crunches will work your core, but you have to do them correctly (and, sadly, most of us do them wrong). It's pretty easy to rush through a crunch routine, lifting with your back (instead of pulling with your abs).

Here's how the November Challenge works:
1-Do daily planks (multiple times if necessary), and keep track of your planking minutes.
2-Do side planks! Yes, the traditional planks are easier, but try to do at least one side plank each day.
3-Add a few push-ups to the mix. Maybe 10 push-ups each day. Or do a few in the morning and a few more before bed. Just do some (or more than you're currently doing). Keep track of those numbers!
4-Post your pics and use the hashtags #planks4thewin and #pushups4power so we all can stay acocuntable
5-tag me (@runningonthefly ) and I'll tag you back. Let's make it a planking and push-up party!
6-Take your measurements (hip and waist) before you start the challenge. Chart your progress. Keep your stats on your minutes of planking and numbers of push-ups.
7-Just do it! (and have fun)

Here's a small sampling of ways to plank....just remember to hold the positions with your entire body (not just your back or abs). You will feel a good burn in your abs, but you should also feel the burn in your thighs, buttocks, and hips.

We will be focusing on side planks, which often get over-looked or forgotten. Side planks, in my opinion, will give you the most bang for your buck because they require a lot of different muscles all at once to make them happen.

My favorite (probably because it's the most challenging) is a side plank on the elbow. Holding this position will draw on your hips (especially the "bottom" hip) and your inner thighs. It's important to keep the top hip as high in the air as possible, and don't let your back sway. If you feel your form starting to falter, it's time to quit.

side plank on elbow
You can also hold this position on your hand, but you may need to hold it longer to get a good "burn."

side plank on hand
As always, I recommend doing the basic plank as well....again, you will get a better burn on your elbows, but it's alright to do them on your hands (you'll probably be able to hold it longer!).

traditional plank on elbows
If you really want to challenge yourself, hold a Chatarunga plank....down, down, down...just inches above the floor (almost in a push-up position). You'll really feel this in your shoulders and chest.



  Of course, do some push-ups while you're down on the floor!


 So, what do you say? Care to join me? You have nothing to lose and plenty of core strength to gain!

Have you ever added planking to your fitness routine? What's the longest you've been able to hold a continuous position? Push-ups---yay or nay?

I'm linking this with Deb for the Wednesday Word, today's word is esoteric....a word that describes something that is "exclusive" and not all-encompassing. I'm also linking with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.









36 comments:

  1. I'm in a yoga challenge for the first half of the month, but I'll jump into your plank challenge when this is done! I do love me some planks!

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  2. I've always struggled with push-ups or anything that requires upper arm/shoulder strength. I naturally carry my strength in my legs and very little in my upper body. But I've been working on it over the past year and it's slowly getting better. Great job on all your planks and push-ups! I admire you! :)

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    1. I really like planking....it feels so much more effective than crunches (for me)

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  3. I love love love planks and have designed total body workouts using entirely plank variations. I, too, am doing a yoga challenge for most of the month but will hop in on the plank challenge when I can! Happy planking!

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  4. I did planks today and the side plank on the elbow is one of my favorites, too!

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    1. I love the side planks, too! I can almost feel the fleff on my hips/inner thighs melting....almost....

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  5. I'm a big fan of the plank! Now that marathon training is over I'll have to be more diligent!

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    1. I do a 2:30 "basic" plank every morning (when my chai is heating...so it's a matter of remembering to do the extra planking minutes when I have a challenge such as this happening...I know, first world probs

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  6. So glad you're doing more than running! Strength training is so important - even if it's body weight strength training! I am in a plank challenge as well this week! <3

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    1. I have learned that the better runners are not just runners ;-)

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  7. Yay to planks and double yay to pushups!

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    1. Are you joining us? Get down on the floor!

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  8. I added regular and side planks into my daily routine a little over a month ago and already notice my stronger core, especially when I run. I'm currently working on holding my side star plank for longer than 30 seconds...

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. I can do 1:30 side arm plank (on elbow),but just cannot get that top leg to lift LOL

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  9. You are definitely the planking champion! I go in spurts with them. I think I got up to a little over 4 minutes the last time I worked at it. I've never been a big push-up gal though. My elbow says "no"!

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    1. I kind of have a love/hate thing with push-ups....I'm a not a big fan of doing them, but I do love the results ;-)

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  10. I need someone to hit me with a plank. I was doing 100 pushups a day, adn I've gotten a bit lax about that. Need to get back on that train!

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    1. I have done 100 daily push-ups before (for various short-term challenges). A couple years ago, someone challenged me to do 200 daily push-ups for two weeks (?)...those I definitely had to stagger throughout the day LOL

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  11. I'm doing a plank challenge! Determined to strengthen my core!! Love your pictures :-)

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    1. Yay to planking!! I don't have washboard abs (by a long shot), but I'm definitely a lot "firmer" than ever before

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  12. I kind of fell off the wagon with the planks! I am back in thanks as always for the inspiration

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  13. I hate planks. Which is why I need to do them! Especially after having a baby. Oy.

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    1. Planks can be tough....which is why they're so effective ;-)

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  14. I am off the plank wagon, but I will try to get back in there. I have awful upper body strength, and I need to fix it. Ironically, I love side planks on the elbow. Those I can do!

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    1. I think the side planks are the best kept secret! They are like magic "fluff removal" for me ;-)

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  15. Thanks for the reminder.

    Call me put on IG...to get my booty going!!!

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    1. deal! You'll get notified later today ;-)

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  16. I've been loving the plank challenge I started May 1st so am a fellow lover of planks! I have planked every day since May 1st to honor the core strength of my hubby and his troops. Haven't missed a day!

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  17. Sounds fun, and now I'm already behind! I love side planks, somehow they seem less miserable than regular planks LOL! I know it'll be a fun challenge!

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  18. I really need to plank more. my core strength is awful. That is one of my goals for this winter...need to get back into strength training!

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    1. I'm convinced planking is where it's at when it comes to core strength. And, it doesn't take long to see progress. I also love upper body strength-training...I don't want skinny arms LOL

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