By Amy VanLiew
I often get asked “Amy, what exercises should I do tone up my stomach?” If you’ve taken one of my classes or followed me on Instagram or Facebook you know I am a huge fan of the Plank. The Plank is an isometric body weight exercise that can be done ANYWHERE using NO EQUIPMENT. It is one of my favorite exercises for core and posture conditioning and it also works your butt, hamstrings, back, shoulders and arms. Another added bonus of the Plank is it challenges your mental toughness. To get through a long plank you have to really push yourself mentally.
The Plank has 3 levels
Level 1 – Wall plank
With your arms straight out in front of you, push against the wall and walk your feet backwards until you are at an angle. Keeping your abs pulled in imagine a straight line from your head to your toes. Hold this position for as long as you can (2 minutes is nice).
Level 2- Knee Plank
Lie on your stomach and put your forearms or hands, whichever you prefer, directly under your shoulders. Come up onto your knees and walk them away from your arms, lower your behind so you have a straight line from your head to your knees. Hold that position for 5 to 10 second just to get the feel of it. Look in the mirror or have someone watch you to make sure you follow the form tips below.
Level 3 – Toe Plank
Lie on your stomach and put your forearms or hands, whichever you prefer, directly under the shoulders. Then, come up onto your toes and squeeze your butt. Make sure you have a straight line from you head to your toes. Hold that position for 5 to 10 seconds to get the feel of it. Look in the mirror or have someone watch you to make sure you follow the form tips below.
Tips on Form
• Ensure that your elbows or hands (depending on your plank) are lined up under your shoulders.
• Keep your abs & butt tight. Do NOT let your hips sag, your back arch or your butt to lift up.
• Keep a neutral neck and spine (don’t let your head hang down)
You can do these every day. Work your way up to 1 min for the last two levels and I know you will not only feel tighter in your mid-section, I bet you will stand taller and have better posture!
Summer is almost here so I thought it would be fun to host a “21 Day Core Tone-Up Challenge”. For 3 weeks I will lead you through this progressive challenge with step by step guidance and video support. Meet the challenge goals and win a fabulous prize.
Want to whittle your waistline by Memorial Day? Join us by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up on my website www.amyvanliew.com