The thing I love most about fitness is ANYONE and EVERYONE can do a move, no matter what it is. You work yourself up to it. Your body practices one thing, gets stronger and used to it, and is ready to move it along. It's called PROGRESSION! I always incorporate some kind of core work into my daily routine and I can never express enough how important it is to do so! Many people think we do core work just to get a chiseled 6-pack like we see in magazines. To me, it is more important to be a functional and strong human, over having chiseled abs. Our core has three-dimensional depth and functional movement in all planes of motion. We can bend, extend, and twist. Our core muscles run deep and into the low back, up the body, and are hidden behind the exterior musculature people typically train. I like to incorporate more plank moves instead of sit ups. These recruit all of your deep internal core muscles, and it is where I see most change. A strong core gives you better posture, reduces your back pain, reduces risk of injury, protects your inner organs, and helps your form doing every day tasks such as picking up a box, holding a baby, or putting on a seatbelt.
Here is a SIDE PLANK progression. Starting with beginners and progressing to an advanced move.
- Start on one side and prop your hips up so your knees are on the ground.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 4 times.
- Progressing from move #1, lift the knees so your legs are straight.
- Lift hips off the ground, and hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 4 times.
- Progressing from move #2, lift your arm up to the ceiling, following it with your eyes.
- Hold here for 20-30 seconds, repeat 4 times.
- Progressing from move #3, lift your top leg up in the air.
- Keep stabilized, and hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 4 times.
- Progressing from move #4, simultaneously bend your lifted elbow and leg so that your elbow reaches your knee for an oblique crunch.
- Extend your arm back over your head, and extend your leg to start position, then repeat the crunch movement.
- Keep stabilized, and aim to do 10. Repeat it 4 times.
See, progression! I always start my clients with side plank #1 and #2. Everyone starts somewhere, you just need to get to that starting point! If these moves get to easy for you, guess what?? YOU CAN PROGRESS THEM! Pop up onto your hand, instead of your forearm, for more shakey side planks. Enjoy!