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.|
|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)|
|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?