Monday, July 21, 2008

Quick Workout - Cheryl's Planks

you don't have enough time to excersise you say?... well strengthen your core in as little as 5 minutes per day using a variety of yoga plank poses.

i have historically hated to do ab work. after my double hernia surgery i decided it was time to build the strongest core i could. now i do core every day. this is my rest day core workout (or a varaition of this) that i alternate with my hard core workout - the around the world or ATW. monday planks, tuesday ATW, wed planks, thurs ATW, etc. ATW is the best all around core workout i have found, non stop effient and gets the entire core. my clients do this workout and i teach it to our weekly track group in jackson.

arnold will tell you the same, "do core every day". in his book The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding he talks about how he knows spot reduction does not work. however when he is doing abs daily he says more than any body part his abs look and at least feel like the spot reduction is working. and i mean who wouldn't take advice from this guy (funny video)?

a strong core is essential to any athlete, it's where all your movement begins. so why do ultrarunners and ultra cyclists need a strong core? here is an example: i tried to get lisa to do ATW with me yesterday.. but her abs are sore from her 300+ mile odyssey. my abs were sore after just 100 miles after the grand teton 100 (granted i had two hernias!). but i've talked to many top runners who say the same. these are athletes like lisa who already have mega strong cores... so you can see the importance of going into a long race already strong. if not your form will start to break down and you will become less efficient, etc.

i have had the pleasure of coaching an amazingly dedicated and strong coast guard employee named cheryl. i started her out with my favorite ab workout, the ATW. on her non ATW days she would do this plank set - i think it's great.. try it for a week!

"Chery's Planks"
do 3 sets holding each pose for 30 seconds this week. 3x @ 40sec next week, etc. (cheryl is up to 1 min each)


start w/30 sec each on the first set
then add 10 seconds to the next set for as long as you can hang on!

1. Pushp Plank
Side Plank on elbow -(don't try and grab your foot as it shows in the picture. legs together.)
3. Reverse or Upward Plank the push-up position with your abs facing upward, try to get your abs up as high as you can. fingers pointing to toes. this is a lower back strengthener. It is similar to 'table top' in yoga but with straight legs which makes it harder.)
4. Side plank on elbow (the other side you didn't do)
Regular Plank on your elbows (basically plank but like you are starting a push-up)

without resting start the next set. you will find this will work your shoulders pretty good too. effective and quick!

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