Why make exercise complicated and expensive when it can be simple and cheap? The path of least resistance is usually the better one, for exercise too!
Yet the majority likes to spend tons of money on gym memberships, classes, and sporting equipment. Of course, you’re led to believe if you buy into the next fad, membership, or a new piece of equipment, your fitness will improve faster, and you’ll enjoy the process more.
The problem is this is flawed thinking generated by clever marketing by the fitness industry. They make up a “new thing” such as F45 for example, and everyone jumps on the bandwagon, thinking it’s going to make them fitter, faster and it’s a must-do to achieve your goals. Overhyped, of course, when celebrities are chiming in on the subject — everyone follows, like happy sheep.
But the reality is different — all you’re doing is blowing a load of cash for something you can achieve for free. Thankfully there are simple solutions to the problem, and today I’ll present one of my favorites — THE PLANK!
Many things — the main one being, it’s probably the simplest exercise with the biggest return, you can do anywhere, anytime.
However, there’s a problem with the plank. Most can’t hold it for more than a few seconds. And that’s because their core and lower back muscles are weak and not used to being trained effectively. Yet, the core and lower back are what keep us standing straight and aligned. In other words, these are super essential muscles to being strong, fit, and healthy. If your core is strong, you’re going to feel much better in body and mind.
And this is why.
While planking is easy to do, in principle, it’s a huge challenge to build your strength and ability to hold the position for long. But, if you practice this daily, you’ll soon get to a minute, then two, three, and so on.
And trust me, once you manage to plank for longer durations, your core quickly gets hard; you can feel those muscles grow and make you’ll start to feel more confident about your looks and body. The belly area is a big problem for many, but you can combat that issue quickly if you regularly plank.
You’ll gain strength, a better posture, and a great deal of confidence. A big bonus in my book!
The best way to plank is to keep it simple.
I use two Methods only.
1) Sets and Duration
Sets and Duration.
Set out for 3 reps with your maximum duration. Then push yourself to hold the position as long as you can for each set, even if you feel like crying because of the burn!
One day you’ll manage 30 seconds a set, and the next, you’ll get to 45 seconds and go from there into the minutes.
This method gets more challenging, as the goal is only to do 1 set, but to push yourself harder and longer, setting a standard and then beating it every time.
Get down and hold the plank as long as you can, even longer than you can, wincing and crying while you’re at it. Push your boundaries! Push hard!
You can make 45 seconds or more with determination and willpower. The beauty of this process is you’re challenging and strengthening your mind simultaneously with your body!
Please read Harvard Health Publishing’s take on planking.
We all want that 6-pack, right? Well, daily planking is the best way to reach that goal. I went from 3 times 45 seconds to 5 times 2-minute planking sessions within 2 weeks, and I was amazed at the results and strength of my core. And then, I conquered the 5-minute plank! Now I’m aiming for 7 and then 10 minutes.
The ideal way is to alternate the methods. One day go for the sets & duration option and push that to your max. The next day go for the duration option, and let it burn and force your mind and body to go longer each time!
Following this straightforward planking plan 7 days a week for 1 month will result in your core and belly being super tight and you feeling like Hercules!
Keep it up — trust me, it works!
Thanks for reading,