Thursday, August 27, 2015

How To Plank

I exercise on a regular basis, but my abdomen has always been my least-favorite part to work on.   Yesterday when I was at the chiropractor we were having a discussion about abdominal muscle weakness.  He said that the best exercise for that area was not crunches (which was news to me), but planks.  I told him I hated planks, and he replied that when you hate an exercise, it's probably because you need it the most.

He was a fan of the side plank, which he said did the best job of targeting the oblique muscles that give your spine stability.  Even though I told him I knew how to do the exercise, when he was finished adjusting my back he made me get up on the examination table so he could show me the proper form.

The first step was to lie on my side and prop my upper body up on my elbow and forearm, with my elbow directly below my shoulder.  Next, I placed my upper leg directly on top of the lower one, then straightened my waist so my body was rigid and straight.   After holding this position for a couple of seconds, he made me repeat it on the other side.

It was awkward doing the movement on a narrow table with someone dressed in street clothes standing two feet away, but he was insistent, saying too many people do it wrong, which doesn't give them the benefits of the exercise.  He gave me a couple of tips as I went along, then seemed to be satisfied with my form and let me get off the table and leave.

Five years ago today: Don't Let The Bedbugs Bite