Now that we're almost two weeks into our plank challenge, you've probably figured out that some kinds of planks feel harder than others. Tiny changes in your body's position can make a big difference.
Photo: Living Fitness
Forearm planks make your core work harder, while getting up on straight arms gives your arm muscles more of a workout. Lifting a foot off the floor challenges every part of your body. But what about the rest of you? Here are some things to think about:
- Your head: If you look up, or straight ahead, you'll tire out your neck while disrupting the position of your spine. When your neck is in line with your back, you'll be looking at the floor slightly in front of you.
- Your shoulders: Keep your neck long, as yoga instructors like to say, so that your shoulders aren't shrugging upward. When you do this, your body hangs passively off your shoulder blades. Engage everything so that your arms are as tall as possible and your body rests on top of them, like pillars.
- Your pelvis: You probably know not to stick your butt in the air (unless you're deliberately doing a pike plank) but it's also unhelpful to let your lower back sag. To fix this, contract your abs like you're pulling the front of your pelvis up toward your chest. Your lower back will naturally flatten out as you do this.
So how are those planks feeling? Are you remembering to do them every day (I have, most days) and have you tried any fun variations? Sound off below and get ready for another awesome week of (ugh) planks.