Friday Flow 27: Plank and Stretch

Are you tired of core workouts yet? Don’t give up. Yes, it can be a bit redundant. But a strong core is critical to your posture and overall fitness. Plus, it is an area most people could benefit from improving. Poor core strength is a common side effect of our modern day sedentary life. Up until now, I’ve avoided one obvious core exercise: the plank. Why? Because planks bore me. To me, that is the ultimate fitness sin. Boredom is the killer of progress.

How to Make It Fun

So, how can I incorporate planks, when I hate them? Whenever there is a particular exercise I don’t enjoy, I try to work thru it quickly by using intervals. Intervals are simply short timed bursts of an activity, followed by a rest period. By breaking a longer exercise into smaller chunks makes it easier to succeed. The smaller countdown periods, also make it into a little game. Seeing if you can do an exercise for “5 more seconds”…

The actual length of the countdown period should be completely determined by you. If you are just starting out, you may only hold a plank for a few seconds at a time. Seasoned athletes can hold a plank for minutes.  To get a good baseline, try to hold a plank for as long as you can until you feel your form start to slip. If you are unable to continue a plank in good form (lower back slumping, shoulders drooping, etc) STOP. Use that as your active interval time. Rest for a 30 secs. Then try again.

After you’ve accomplished a few planks intervals, move onto active stretches.  The sequence below includes a few yoga asanas to continue working the core and stretching mid body.

Access the Yoga Flow Routine

Plank and Stretch [Asana Block]
(flow sequences are available as a printable worksheet -or- online)

Today’s photograph is vibrant desert flowers spotted in Prescott, AZ.

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