BBWC #5: Thank the Plank

If you haven’t noticed, Beloved Body went on a bit of summer vacation— well, not really a vacation (I wish!) but a hiatus. The past month, we haven’t had our usual childcare, so I’ve been a full-time stay-at-home mom. It’s been a lot of fun, but by the time Hadley goes to bed, I’m too exhausted to write. I’m excited to be back in action, though, and kick off a new wellness challenge!

BELOVED BODY WELLNESS CHALLENGE #5 – Thank the Plank

This wellness challenge was inspired by my almost two-year-old. A few weeks ago, Hadley and I attended Stroller Bootcamp. After she continually shouted “Out! Out! Out!,” I let her out of the stroller to run around. Little did I know, she wanted in on the real action! Here she is in plank position, with her favorite monkey lovey in hand.

Hadley in Plank Position

Hadley joined in the fun during Stroller Bootcamp the other week.

This week, we’re going to follow Hadley’s lead. Let’s give thanks to the plank. The plank pose is efficient, working your shoulders, back and abdominals at once. It can be done (almost) anywhere – I’ve done it at a playground while trying to squeeze in a workout – and has various modifications so people of all fitness levels can do it.

Challenge: 

  • 3 minutes of planks – 5 times between Monday, Aug. 15 and Sunday, Aug. 21. By the end of the week, you’ll have done 15 minutes of planks. 

Tips: 

  • Try doing a 1 minute plank in the morning, 1 minute in the afternoon and 1 minute in the evening. If it’s hard to get in the afternoon plank due to work or other activities, extend your morning and evening planks to 90 seconds.
  • Ask your spouse, friend/roommate to do the challenge with you. It will help keep you accountable (and you can encourage each other to stay up when you just want to drop to the floor!
  • If you get behind on your days, try to do 5 minutes/day. You just need to get to 15 minutes total throughout the week.
  • There are multiple ways to perform planks: check out the photos below for modifications to make a traditional plank easier, plus ways to make it more challenging. Also, try to keep your body is a straight line from the tip of your head down to your toes; this ensures your neck, back, and hips stay in correct alignment (i.e., your muscles/joints/ligaments won’t be strained, potentially causing pain down the road)
Plank A

Plank 1: Keep your hands directly under your shoulders, think about lifting belly button toward your spine, and keep neck and hips in line with the rest of your body (i.e., don’t let them drop or lift higher than rest of body).

Forearm plank

Plank 2. If it bothers your wrists to do plank #1, then try #2 on your forearms. The same tips from plank #1 apply, but keep your elbows (instead of hands) directly under shoulders. For a higher modification (challenge), move from plank #1 to #2 and then back to #1. Repeat continually.

Plank 3: For a lower modification, try a plank on your hands (or forearms) and knees. Just be sure to put your weight ABOVE your knee cap. This ensures you don't put too much pressure on the kneecap and displace it. I've done that before and it hurts!

Plank 3: For a lower modification, try a plank on your hands (or forearms) and knees. Just be sure to put your weight ABOVE your knee cap. This ensures you don’t put too much pressure on the kneecap and displace it. I’ve done that before and it hurts!

Main Muscles Worked: Shoulders, back and abs

Share: I’d love to see pics of you completing the challenge. Tag @belovedbody and use #thanktheplank on Instagram or email me a photo at amy.belovedbody@gmail.com

Incentive: If you complete the challenge, leave a comment on this blog by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 22 and you will be entered to win something fun.

More Info/Previous Challenges:

Have a great week!

-Amy

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