Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Mike's 10 Minute Plank Challenge

Sit-ups, crunches and leg raises are popular abdominal exercises that I see people doing every day in the gym. They pump away rep after rep hoping that their 6 pack will show up in the mirror tomorrow! One of the best abdominal exercises that not enough people do is the plank or bridge. This exercise will strengthen your core muscles more than most other exercises.

I will admit, I am slack when it comes to training my core. My core gets a good workout with my squats, deadlifts and other heavy work, so I often skip any abdominal exercises. Today after my back session I decided to do some planks for a total of 10 minutes. I used my stop watch to start and stop for every set, until I reached a total of 10 minutes. I rested for about 30-40 seconds between each set, so the entire workout took less than 15 minutes. It took me 5 sets to get to the 10 minute mark and just 1 hour later my stomach is already in pain! I'm not looking forward to tomorrow.

Rules:
1. Start in a plank position and start the time.
2. Hold the position for as long as possible and make sure that your core muscles are doing all of the work. If your lower back starts to "sag" in then take a rest.
3. Stop the time when you drop to the floor. Start the time again when you start the next set.
4. Complete as many sets as required to reach 10 minutes in total.
5. Rest for as long as you need to between sets, but try to keep it to under 60 seconds.
6. If you are just a beginner then try for 5 minutes and gradually build up to 10 minutes.
7. Do not take a photo of yourself "planking" and post on Facebook. That is so 2011.
8. Try not to laugh or cough on the next day, because it's going to hurt!

Enjoy!

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