As with this blog, I’m also a Twitter newbie and still trying to figure out how it works. But each day, I’m recognizing its value more and more- although I can see how you could waste your life away on it, checking out all the interesting (and sometimes weird) posts.
Yesterday, I stumbled across #plankaday, which caught my attention because I’ve totally become a plank devotee in the last year. Like pretty much everyone I know, I always hated crunches and ab work. They are just so tedious and take forever to do if you actually want to see some improvement. But I’ve also always had lower back issues, even when I was kid. I know it’s related to a weak core. I really wanted to figure out a way to stop it before it just deteriorated.
Luckily, the Washington Post had an article about how the plank was the new ‘in’ abs activity. I was familiar with plank from yoga, but had no idea that it was also a great core exercise. I quickly realized that I was very lazy with my plank during yoga- my abs never broke a sweat.
When I saw how enthusiastically all these experts endorsed it, AND that it only takes a few minutes to be effective, I knew I had to try it. I’ve stuck with it, and it’s an integral part of weekly routine now. I have noticed a HUGE difference in my ability to run better, stronger and more comfortably. My lower back pain has significantly lessened. And while I don’t have a super toned stomach, it’s much flatter than it was- and let’s face it, I really only do planks twice a week.
Until now! So the whole idea behind #plankaday is just as it sounds- do one plank, every day. That’s it! It only takes a minute (or less if you’re just starting). I know I’m going to try it out- today I did I bunch of planks at yoga, so that was easy, but I am going to try to incorporate it somehow every day, on top of my twice weekly routine that currently consists of three sets, one regular plank and side planks on each side. I can only get stronger, right?
I guess not everyone loves planks, as this funny blogger states while also providing great examples of plank exercises. I’m not going to lie- it’s a deceptively hard exercise. You’ll sweat, shake and turn red in the face if you’re doing it correctly. I think I love it because it is efficient- minimal time and equipment is required, and you do get results. So, I highly recommend it if you’re looking to strengthen your core but don’t want to slog through hundreds of mind-numbing crunches.
In running related news- had a great yoga/pilates class this morning, followed by a mediocre afternoon run on the Mall. My body actually felt really good. It was the weather- what started off as a freakishly mild rainy day devolved into supremely windy with a nasty windchill factor. Let’s just say, my T-shirt and shorts wasn’t appropriate.
But it was meant to just be a few easy miles to prepare for tomorrow’s 8 miler, so it was perfectly adequate for that purpose.