Exercises from Kiley Schoenfeld: The Plank

Happy 2014! This year I am going to break down one exercise per month. I will give the option to progress it through three different levels. It will be up to you to make the decision as to which level is best for you.

If you are starting at level one and you are consistent with exercising a minimum of three times a week, you should progress through all levels of each exercise within 90 days of the day you started. Let’s get started!

As always, please be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program. You may need further modification then what I list in the articles. Please feel free to email me any time if you have any questions at www.kfitnyc.com and I can give you additional options or feedback.

The Plank

Benefits: According to Livestrong.com in 2013, the major benefits of plank exercises are increased strength in lower body, upper body, and midsection.

In addition, planks help increase flexibility in the posterior side of the body and help improve posture.

Level One: Forearms on the floor parallel to each other. Feet on the floor as well. The entire body should be about 8-12 inches off the floor and parallel to it. Head remains in line with the spine. Hold this position for up to a minute without moving.

Level Two: Same body position as level one, however transition up to your hands. Keep your arms straight and tips of the elbows pointing toward your feet. Hold this position motionless for up to two minutes.

Level Three: Same body position as level two, however, transition to a three-point plank (only three of the four limbs are in contact with the floor)

First, try 30 seconds with one arm resting on your lower back.

Next 30 seconds switch to the other arm.

Third 30 seconds leave both hands on the floor and elevate one foot just barely off the floor without any change in position of the rest of the body. Keep both legs straight at all times.

Then switch legs for the final 30 seconds. Now that is a full body challenge you won’t forget!

Turn some great music on, grab a timer, and get to work! Enjoy!

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