If strengthening your core is of any importance to you, there’s no doubt you’ve attempted a plank once or twice. I try to incorporate some form of a plank at least once per week – it has become a staple in my exercise toolbox. The beauty of the plank is that it works multiple abdominal muscles while putting very little stress on the lumbar spine. It’s also easy to do – you don’t need any equipment and it gives you that burn in your abs that hurts so good. It’s simple and effective.
There’s more to the plank, though, than meets the eye. It’s more than just holding a straight position for as long as you can.
Although you’re likely already reaping the benefits from your efforts, there are a few tweaks you can make to maximize your benefits.
Here’s some suggestions to make sure – from head to toe – you’re getting the most out of your planks.
There’s an opioid crisis going on in America and most of us don’t even realize it. With increasing reports of chronic pain over recent years, Americans are searching for something to take the edge off. The easiest, most convenient solution? Opioids. The problem? We’re consuming more of them than ever before.
Do you enjoy exercise? The word ‘exercise’ seems to have so many negative connotations, doesn’t it? It makes me think ‘hard work’, ‘pain’, and ‘routine’. But when you stop and think about what you do enjoy about exercise, oftentimes you focus less on the pain and more on the fun activities: walking with your spouse, playing pickup basketball, surfing, Zumba class, Yoga, CrossFit. Most of the time, these fun activities include other people. It turns out regularly exercising with others can benefit you in many ways. Here are 6 of them…
Motivation is everything. Without it, you wouldn’t be where you are today – taking steps to enhance your body, mind, finances, relationships, etc. Or maybe you’re like me and some of these areas in your life have become stagnate. Maybe you’re looking for ways to improve but can’t seem to muster the energy, focus, and perseverance. Have you stopped to examine what actually motivates you?
For our purposes here, let’s put motivation in the context of exercise and fitness. You’ve likely experienced times when you’ve been unable to stick to an exercise routine or diet, right? We tend to blame it on any number of things: lack of time, too expensive, too hard, not fun…
On the flip side of the coin, you’ve also been a part of an exercise program or sport that you completely rocked. You’re teaching that yoga class now. You’re on your fifth half-marathon. You’ve been playing Sunday morning hoops for fifteen years straight. You walk 3 times per week, rain or shine.
What makes the difference? What does it take to motivate you?
Pain grips its claws into either side of your spine, relentless to never let go. Wringing your vertebrae like a soaked towel – its drippings electricity searching for ground. Persisting for months on end, the meds become like vitamins – inherently meant for good, but their immediate effects unfulfilling. The dilemma: take the conservative route or opt for surgery? Desperate for relief, you weigh your options.
Surgery of the Lumbar Spine is a controversial topic. Despite the controversy, however, these surgeries are being performed more and more often in recent years. It’s likely you know at least one person who’s had one. You might also know someone who’s chosen conservative treatment instead. So, which is better?