Whether you’re an extreme athlete, gardener or just someone looking to feel better, having a strong core is key to maintaining and sustaining the lifestyle you lead (or one you want to lead).
Making your core strong and healthy will improve your everyday life; without a strong core, the flow of your arms and legs is weaker, meaning the standard movements we rely on to get us through the day and complete almost every task aren't as strong as they should be.
So if you’re on the road or just crunched for time, finding a few minutes to incorporate core exercises into your life is vital to creating and sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
Here's a three-minute plank challenge you can do anytime, anywhere! Get planking!
Get in the plank position: wrists stacked under shoulders, ankles under heels. Engage your core. Relax your neck and shoulders. Keep your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds before moving onto the next move.
Lie on your left side with knees straight, one leg stacked on top of the other. Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm (or straighten your left arm so you're body is supported by your hand), then lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from ankles to shoulders.
Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides before moving onto the next move.
Alternating Knee Crossover Plank
Start in a regular plank, keeping your core engaged. Bring your left knee across your body toward your right elbow, then return it to the ground. Now do the same with your right knee. Alternate for 30 seconds.
Alternating Hand to Elbow Plank
Start in the regular plank position. Keep your core engaged. In a controlled motion, bring your left hand up to tap your right shoulder. Set the left hand down, then repeat on the other side. Alternate hands for 30 seconds.
Alternating Hand to Hand Plank
Start in the regular plank position. Keep your core engaged. In a controlled motion, lift your left hand off the ground and draw it across to tap your right hand. Then repeat with the other hand. Alternate sides for 30 seconds.
Holding a plank for three minutes is challenging, so be sure to start with the first move and work your way towards all five!
Photos courtesy of author