Targeting your abdominal muscles with the plank

Author : jamhuray
Publish Date : 2021-05-08 20:37:55

Targeting your abdominal muscles with the plank

The pollen is dissipating, and the ever-trusted hot South Carolina days are beginning to emerge. We have been on quite a journey of foundational work these first few months of 2021. The next building block is a tried and true, full-body movement!

I want us to venture into the plank – a traditional movement that targets your core. You might say, “Why should I care about my core?” Your core, or more specifically your abdominal muscles, is essential to almost every activity: standing, walking, sitting, stooping, running, etc. Core exercises can reduce your risk of falling, help with stability and protect your back.

“Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction, even on the bumpiest terrain, or stand in one spot without losing your balance,” states Harvard Medical School.

Now, let’s dig deeper into this plank business.

The plank is a unique exercise that not only targets your core but also works your back, shoulders, chest and legs. Basically, it’s a full-body, gold-mine exercise. … You’re welcome.

During a plank, you contract or “tighten” all of the areas listed above to help maintain the correct position. A regular plank looks very similar to a push up – except you rest your upper body on your forearms. Everything else is the same. The plank has an enormous bucket of variations. You could spend your entire week performing a different kind of plank each day!

Keep your body in a straight line. I don’t want to see any Instagram posts with dipping or booty pop planks. Dipping means your body looks like a sagging bridge. Booty pop means you have your butt up in the air like you’re trying to make a mountain with your body. The longer you hold a plank, the more risk you run of booty popping or dipping.

Cues to help you or your buddy are to remember your hips: If you feel yourself dipping, raise those hips up. Booty popping? Lower those hips down. When trying out the plank for the first few times, have someone watch you to make sure you aren’t dipping or booty popping.

There is a progression to achieving the full plank. For those of you struggling, try on your knees first. Instead of posting up on your toes, drop to your knees and forearms, but don’t skip contracting those muscle groups mentioned above.

For those of you that have been in this health game with me since January, let’s look at how we can incorporate the plank into a routine. Try this on for size:

• Walk for 10 minutes.

• Do 10 squats.

• Perform two 10-second planks with a rest in between.

Remember to listen to your body. Just like with the squat, work slowly and build confidence in your plank.

This is a lifestyle journey to improving yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Do it for you.

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Also Read: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Now is the time to raise awareness for those who live with mental or behavioral health issues, reduce stigma and take charge of your own mental health.

In partnership with the Del Norte County Behavioral Health Department and through our grant with the California Center for the Book, we are doing many projects this month and we invite you to join in.

Here are some of the ways you can get involved:

Hang out with Kati Morton

It is not too late to register for one of our webinars which consist of Q&As with qualified professionals such as Kati Morton, LMFT and author of Are u OK; Harjot Singh, M.D.; and Bernadette Johnson, LMFT. You can register for one webinar, two, or all three. These inspiring webinars are free to you and with your registration, you will receive a free copy of Kati Morton's book Are u OK?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health, while supplies last. Register through our website at

Wear lime green

Wear your lime green during May to support Mental Health Awareness. If you post a photo of yourself in your lime green on Facebook and tag us, you will earn a stylish free "green" gift, while supplies last.

Talk about Mental Health

Share your story and watch how it inspires others to follow your example. You may do so on Facebook or Twitter and tag us for a fashionable gift, while supplies last. If you are interested in being interviewed and featured on our new YouTube channel, please contact us. We would love to support you and speak out with you.


Volunteer with Del Norte County Behavioral Health! There are a plethora of ways to get involved, such as art groups, shopping activities and daily living skills groups. Participants there often just need someone to listen to them or to teach them skills. For details, contact Chris Starets-Foote at [email protected] or call (707) 464-7224 *2921.

Book to Action is sponsored by the California Center for the Book. Book to Action takes the basic book club concept and expands it to create a dynamic series of events for adults and intergenerational groups.

Library Relief Worker Vacancy

The Del Norte County Library District is seeking a Library Relief Worker to join our wonderful staff at the Crescent City and the Smith River branch. Position responsibilities include serving library patrons, library shelving and patron services and a variety of other library-oriented duties. Computer skills and interpersonal communication skills are needed. Must be willing to work evenings and weekends. The position requires regular lifting of books and other library materials up to 25 pounds. Library experience is not required but candidates will have a demonstrated ability to be trained and a willingness to accept and respond to direction.

The Library Relief Worker will work for the Library on a PRN basis (as needed). The work schedule will not be regular and this position is not eligible for employee benefits. The Library Relief Worker will report to the Library Director.

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