While having toned abs is the reason most people do core strengthening exercises, working your mid-section serves a much greater purpose than looking good. Strengthening the muscles of the core is essential for maintaining good posture, alleviating lower back pain, preventing injuries, and improving performance in other athletic pursuits.
This week’s move is core-focused – The Plank
This move requires no equipment, and can be done anywhere – although I recommend it be done on carpet, mat or towel. Start by laying on your stomach. Place your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders. Contract your abs, slowly lifting your entire torso off the floor or mat, maintaining a stiff torso and legs. Avoid any arching in your low back, hiking in your hips or bending in the knees. Continue to breath while holding this position for a specified time (5+ seconds). While maintaining a stiff torso and extended knees, gently lower your body back towards the mat or floor before relaxing.
There are many variations of the plank that work different angles, but the simple, basic plank move is one of the best moves you can do for your core.