A few years ago I posted about the benefits of planks. The exercise that is, not the long pieces of wood. The same benefits still apply, and during these days of self-isolation and social distancing, finding the time to do them is easier than ever.
I still swear by planks to keep my lower back from getting sore during gardening season. I also rely on them to keep my abdominal muscles in shape during the long winter months when my gardens are sleeping. We can all agree how much nicer toned abdominal muscles look compared to the lazier, invisible ones.
I do the (easier) forearm version as it is easier on my arthritic wrists. Start on your hands and knees, then lower your forearms to the floor, lining your elbows up beneath your shoulders. Moving one foot at a time, step back until your body is straight from your head to your heels. Like a plank. Suck your belly button in while tightly squeezing the abdominal muscles. Hold this position for as long as you can, without compromising the (plank) straight line. That means no sagging stomach, arched back or raised butt. Don’t be surprised that you will not be able to hold this plank position for very long the first time. Each time does get easier. Really. I promise.