Fit in a Year - Week
This is it. One of the few specific
exercises I'll recommend this year. It's called
Plank. And if you only have time to do one exercise, this
is the one.
You lie on you stomach on a hard surface. Slide your
hands under your shoulders, fingers spread. Make sure
that your arms and wrists are in line with your shoulder
joints. Then raise/push your torso off the floor, abs
engaged, legs extended (but not knee-locked) until your entire
body is off the floor except for your toes. You'll look
like you are about to do a push-up.
Now stay there. You should have a straight line
connecting your shoulders, hips, and ankles.
Here's the stuff that can go wrong: Be certain your lower
back isn't sinking, or your butt isn't flying up toward the
ceiling, and your shoulder blades aren't separated, creating a
hump at the top (in your thoracic spine). If your back is
sinking or flying, engage your ab to pull your navel toward the
ceiling or the floor until you create that straight line.
If your shoulder blades have rolled apart (and most people's do
from sitting all day in a hunched over position), pull them
together in the back by rolling them and then slide the tops of
your shoulders down away from your ears, as if you are putting
your blades into your back pockets. You should feel your
spine sinking between them.
Practice staying in this position for as long as
possible. Can you stay for 30 seconds? Two
It's a complete core workout. You will use all the
muscles and all at once. And it's a great isometric
exercise, very safe, no joints involved. Simple (though
not easy) and effective. Exactly what our fitness needs
are these days.
We can make this more challenging, but for now, a goal of
staying in Plank for 2 minutes is a great start. Begin
with whatever you have. And then tomorrow, try to stay
another few seconds. And the next day. Until you
slowly, gradually work your way up to 2 minutes.
And while you're doing this, make sure you remember to