HOLD THE PLANK FOR ONE MINUTE WITHOUT WOBBLING
TIME FRAME: 4 weeks (working the move 2 times per week)
BENEFIT: Increased muscle endurance and a rock-hard core!
YOUR PLAN: “It’s all about energetics and how you attack the plank,” says Pilates instructor Wendy Puckett, co-owner of Steamboat Pilates and Yoga in Colorado,USA. “Anyone can go through the motions, but you need to find the soul of the move.” That’s when the strengthening happens.
STEP ONE: First, try the plank on your hands and knees to make sure you’ve got the form down: Your shoulders should be directly over your hands and your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for 30 seconds, then 45 seconds, then one minute. Don’t move on until you can hold the correct form the entire time.
STEP TWO: In full plank, focus on keeping yourself as straight as a board from shoulders to heels (no sagging in the middle!). Relax the rest of your body, engaging your core, so you really feel your abs take hold and work to support you, Puckett says. Concentrate on breathing into your core. Drop to your knees if you find yourself breaking form – any drooping in the middle is a clear sign that your form is breaking. Work your way up to holding the movement for an entire minute.
This is a sample from Oxygen Magazine Australia issue 76. To purchase your copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe online today.