The Plank - 6 benefits at menopause
My summer discovery has been doing The Plank for 1 minute every day. Encouraged by my pilates teacher Karita Saar Cullen who is a chartered physiotherapist I've made the daily plank as essential as brushing my teeth.
How to do The Plank:
The brilliant thing about this exercise is that it takes very little time, no gym equipment and you can do it anywhere. The Plank is a whole body exercise that will strengthen your core and help to protect your spine. Karita's advice is to make it as routine as brushing your teeth.
- Get into plank position with forearms on the floor and stretch out your legs and have toes tucked under.
- Keep your whole body as straight as possible so that you become as rigid and straight as a plank from head to toes. Check that your tummy muscles are engaged and that your hips are not dipped nor your bum too high in the air. If your lower back feels sore your pelvis might be too low so raise it a little.
- Relax your head and look at the floor. Breath and think of something delightful - a beautiful ocean view or a cream bun. The choice is yours.
- Hold the posture for 10-15 seconds initially. Then relax.
- Gradually work up to 60 seconds. This can feel like a life time in the early days but it gets easier, I swear.
6 key benefits of doing a daily The Plank
Improve your core strength
Flatten your belly and gain definition at the waist-line
Protect your back and spinal column
Improve your posture
Burn calories and boost metabolism
Improve your balance - vital as we age
If you suffer from backache or have other health issues make sure to consult your doctor or physiotherapist before you get started. As always listen to your body, if it feels wrong it probably is...
What do you think?
Are you doing the plank? Do you have any other fabulous and easy exercises to suggest. Please comment - not too many critiques of my plank photo please.
If you start now, let us know how you get on.