This month the Sport and Active Lifestyle Team is completing the plank challenge. We will be doing a plank exercise every day in March, building up to a three-minute plank on the last day.
How to do a plank
Lie on your stomach, squeeze your belly button up into your spine and gently lift your torso onto your forearms (elbows aligned under shoulders) and toes while keeping your back straight.
Your body should be in a straight line from neck to heels.
The hard bit is to now hold the position. Keep squeezing the abdominal muscles (belly button into spine) and also squeeze your quadriceps (thigh muscles) and glutes (buttocks) as much as possible. Push through your heels, keep your back straight, pull your shoulders back from your ears, keeping your neck straight and don't forget to breathe!
If you are a beginner start with a few seconds and gradually progress up to 60 seconds per day.
If you have any back issues or find this an impossible position for your body then please let us know. We can provide you with alternative exercises that will work for you.
You can literally 'Plonk a Plank into your day' anywhere, whether it be on the bedroom floor, whilst the kettle boils, during the TV adverts or in a nice sun trap in the garden, on the balcony or in the park. Apart from the obvious physical benefits of this exercise, which includes improved core strength, posture, flexibility, balance and coordination it will improve your overall mental health.
If you are interested in signing up for this challenge then please express your interest with the 'Sport and Active Lifestyles' team. Contact Jo Heath so that we can motivate and support you throughout this challenge.