Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Three Reasons to Love Planking

Each week I leave my apartment with the hopes that someone will be waiting to join me for a run, but lately it has been just me. I used to walk to the meeting place for the running group, but today it dawned on me that I really should be running. I hate to admit it, but I figured no one would be there, and it seemed silly to waste my time walking.

After waiting about 10 minutes, I continued to do one of my regular routes to the Peninsula light house and then down to the mermaid statue and back. Even though the sky looks kind of ominous in the picture, it was nearly a perfect day for running. If the temps are going to stay in the 70s, then thank you very much for cloudy skies.


Today's prompt for the Holiday Sweat Challenge asked, what's your favorite strengthening move? For me, without hesitation, it's the plank. When I got to the lighthouse, I thought it would be a perfect backdrop for a plank photo and that got me thinking about why I love planking so much...besides the obvious strength benefits.


1. I can stop and plank anywhere (as demonstrated above). This makes it convenient to do even a little strength training at home, in the gym, when traveling...ANYWHERE!

2. There are so many ways to plank that it's very easy to keep it fresh and new. In the photo I'm doing a standard plank, but I also like to challenge myself with some dynamic planks like spiderman or up-downs.

3. No equipment needed. This makes it easy to do planks anywhere because all you need is you! No need to worry about buying weights or finding a gym, just stop, drop, and plank! *On a side note, adding props can increase the difficulty of a plank. For example, balance hands or feet on a bosu, medicine, or stability ball.

PopSugar has a great 1-minute video that shows how to do 12 plank variations:


I mentioned the other day that my right calf was feeling tight and a knot had formed on the inside. Add a lot of jumping at Zumba last night and it was feeling tighter. Before my run this morning, I foam rolled my whole body, but spent extra time on my calves, then I stretched. I recently read that it's just as important to stretch after foam rolling as it is after your workout.


My calf felt much better during today's run than the last couple of days. After completing my daily F2F Challenge workout, I brought out the stick and spent just a couple more minutes rolling it out.


One part of the Holiday Sweat Challenge is to track your freggie (fruit & vegi) eating habits. I don't eat nearly as much as most people. Today I tossed some spinach into my scrambled eggs and felt pretty proud of myself.



What's your favorite strengthening move?
What do you love about planking?
Favorite way to sneak in more freggies?


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