Tag Archives: exercises

Plank Circuit v2.0

How did you like the plankety-plank plank plank circuit from last week?

I have a few more plank variations for you this week so you can continue to challenge yourself.  If you’re not feeling like you’re ready for these harder variations, keep at the other circuit for another week or two.  Bookmark this post, and come on back when you’re ready!

Grab a yoga mat or get to a rug or carpet, and let’s get going.  There are modifications described in each of the four videos.

All levels: Start with 2 circuits.  Add a 3rd if you’re up for it.

If you’re a beginner, I suggest starting with 30 seconds per plank, with 30 seconds rest.

If you’re an intermediate, go for 45 seconds per plank, 30 seconds rest.

Advanced?  Give yourself a challenge: 1 minute per plank, 30 seconds rest.

 

 

 

Happy planking!

Let me know how it goes!

 

 

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Plank-ety Plank Plank Plank

Only have time to do one exercise?

Make it a plank.

Why?

When you plank, you engage all of the muscles of the abdomen, the chest, and the low body.  While increasing static strength in the whole body, you also forge mental fortitude as you push yourself to hold planks for longer each time.  Doing planks regularly can help improve your posture, develop core strength that will translate into gains in your other fitness endeavors, and they make you feel like a super strong beast!

Another reason the plank is such a great exercise is that it is nearly endlessly modifiable.  It can be made easier for beginners and more challenging for advanced exercisers.  It can be done in multiple planes, thereby working the front, back, and side body depending on the variation.  The videos below include options for modifying each plank to your ability level.

Don’t believe me?  Grab a yoga mat or get to a rug or carpet, and let’s get going.

All levels: Complete 3 circuits

If you’re a beginner, I suggest starting with 30 seconds per plank, with 30 seconds rest.

If you’re an intermediate, go for 45 seconds per plank, 30 seconds rest.

Advanced?  Give yourself a challenge: 1 minute per plank, 30 seconds rest.

 

 

 

The best part about this circuit is that you can do it every day.  You can do it in front of the TV.  You can challenge your kids to do it with you.  You can do it in your regular clothes, and you won’t need a shower afterwards.

Go ahead.  Give yourself 10 minutes and get your plank on!

Let me know how it went for you!

P.S. I’ll be back next week with another plank workout.  You’re going to love it.

 

 

Three Exercises That Keep Me Running

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been fighting a few niggling injuries in my marathon and ultramarathon training.  Nothing is keeping me off the streets, but I am spending more time than usual with the ice pack, foam roller, and epsom salts.

There are three exercises that I do regularly that I credit for keeping me running. I do them every day in small sets throughout the day.  I want to keep those little annoying issues from becoming full-blown injuries.

To avoid the dreaded runner’s knee, I have been working to strengthen my gluteus medius.  A stonger glute med helps the IT band to function efficiently; a happy IT band keeps the knee tracking appropriately.  This triumvariate relationship is a great example of how pain may or may not be related to the location where you’re feeling the pain.  Working various parts of the kinetic chain helps the running gait to be as smooth and natural as possible.

Strengthening the glute med is really important for people like me– women who have had multiple babies and who have a pelvis that may not be sitting in its optimal position.

The three exercises I do are:

Fire Hydrant— two sets of 20 per leg each day

Side Plank Lift/Lower— two sets of 12-15 per side each day

Outer Thigh Leg Lift— two sets of 20 per side each day

 

Give those a try for a few days, and let me know how it affects your running.  I’ll be back in a few weeks for the second level of Glute Med work.

Until then, good health and great happiness to you!