I always thought "what's the big deal about planks anyways?". They really don't look that hard. I know they are excellent for building core strength so I figure I should do more to strengthen my core. Well today I decided, having declared Wednesday core/ab day a while back, I'd try them.
And holy crap are they hard! Sure I do a lot of core work on core day, but I didn't realise just how hard it was to hold your body in place for any length of time. I thought I'd have enough strength to do it no prob. I've done a few in the past for 20 seconds, but I figured I'd go for 1 minutes ones today. Really see what I'm made of.
After 30 minutes of speed walking on an incline I got down to business. I've worked up from a few flailing crunches over 5 months to a really solid ab/core workout. My full on amazon abs/core work looks like this:
50 regular crunches
50 lower ab crunch/leg raises
50 side crunches on each side
50 moving elbow to knee crunches, both sides (not sure what they are called - twist crunches? windmills??)
50 medicine ball side to side torso twists with a 10 Lb ball
2 X 30 second"snake" back extensions while lying on your stomach (...name?)
25 alternating arm/leg extensions for the back on the exercise ball
30 stick your but up in the air thingys (lower body lift? I have no idea what it's actually called)
30 "V" crunch/situps with arm/leg extensions (again I have no idea what they're actually called...I've heard them called tuck ups)
Yup - I'm hard core :)
In the middle of this I thought I'd add 2 sets of planks, on front and each side. And man...I could do 1 minute of each once. My second set of them at the end were about 20 seconds long and then I had nothing else left so I stretched and headed for the shower. Curious. this will give me something new to focus on...increasing my plank time. Stronger is better. :)
But, end result of this? Well, I'm much stronger, not stiff in my back anymore and I can see my abs. Kind of like a six pack. I've taken to navel gazing in the shower...cuz they look *cool* :)