At HomeBodyFit, our clients are used to seeing planks and plank circuits incorporated into their workouts. Why? Because they work! They may be difficult to start with, but once you feel and see the benefits, you’ll begin to crave the burn that comes with doing challenging plank circuits.
The physical and aesthetic benefits of planking are:
Improves strength and flexibility throughout the body
Requires focus and mental stamina
Improves posture, tightens your core and streamlines that waistline!
Here’s how to properly do a Full and Side Plank.
How to do a Full Plank
On a yoga matt, start in a push-up position and lower your forearms to the floor; your elbows and fists are flat to the ground (your hands are either straight out in front of you – palms down or in a fist, or clasped, whichever is more comfortable for you).
With your toes curled under, keep your back straight, your buttocks down.
Engage your abs (imagine pulling your belly button towards your spine)
You’ll feel a burning. Continue to keep your buttocks down.
How to do a Side Plank
Lie with the whole side (starting on the left or right) of your body on your yoga matt.
Use your floor-side elbow to prop up your body, keeping your body up on your elbow – aligning your elbow directly underneath your shoulder – and your feet together.
Your forearm (lying perpendicular to your body), elbow and floor-side foot should be supporting your body.
Rest your opposite arm along your body or extent it straight up to the ceiling.
Engage your abs (feel the burn) and hold the pose.
Note: If this is too challenging at first, you can bring your knees down to the floor to help support your weight. To make this exercise more challenging, balance on on just your floor-side hand and foot (pictured above).
Interested in learning more about the HomeBodyFit Plank Circuit (Advanced)? Contact us for a FREE consultation today!
Did you know that just hearing that others “can do it” can greatly influence your fitness performance? According to the journal of Psychology of Sport and Exercise, motivation from others can have a very powerful effect on one’s exercise duration and intensity.
The study went like this:
A group of 68 participants were split into two groups and asked to hold a plank for as long as possible. After finishing, the first group was told that a similar group had held their planks for 20 percent longer. The second group was given no feedback.
Following this, the two groups were asked to perform a second plank, again for as long as possible. The researchers found that the first group (who had received the feedback) rated their confidence at 45 percent before the first plank and nearly 60 percent before the second plank, holding their planks for 5 percent longer; whereas the second group’s hold time dropped 18 percent.
Essentially, the study found that if you learn or observe that your peers are doing well, you’re more likely to believe you can too.
So seek out influential stories, talk to friends and family about their fitness efforts and workout in pairs and groups. These can all help boost your confidence and enhance your performance…and don’t forget to let others know about your accomplishments!
Let’s face it…instant gratification feels great and as a society we’re used to wanting (and often getting) the things we desire right away. We like promises and we buy into them all the time…and this phenomenon also applies to fitness. Often people will start new fitness programs with enthusiasm, only to lose their momentum when they don’t start seeing results after a week or two. This disappointment often leads to quitting.
Being personal trainers we’re here to break it to you that when it comes to becoming super fit, you have to leave instant gratification at the door. In fact, you have to forget about the short term altogether and continually focus on the long term benefits of sticking to your fitness and eating plan. It’s this ability that separates the quitters from the super fit…and will lead you to success. If you’re able to master this mindset, you will no longer feel deprived when forgoing those bag of chips or give into the couch when it’s time to workout. In fact, your long term goals will become more meaningful than any instant pleasures.
So forget about the short term sacrifices and stop focusing on what you see in the mirror after only a few weeks. Master this secret to success and you will feel and see the effects you desire. Our clients often tell us that friends and family eventually started asking them want they “did” to acquire their healthier and stronger physique…and when this happens you too can tell them the “secret” – it’s due to a lot of hard work and a series of “fit decisions” made everyday.