Power of the Plank

Want an overall body workout in one simple pose?

After losing 25 pounds doing the Menopause Makeover my body was now at a wonderful healthy weight, but my belly and tush were still giggly. It was time to set a new goal – build muscle mass and firm up! At the age of 51 I had lost a lot of muscle mass. That’s a nice way of saying, “I was flabby, droopy and not very strong!” My first 12 weeks doing The Menopause Makeover was spent on the elliptical 30 to 40 minutes most days of the week, and 3 days a week weight lifting (dumbbells). It was time to change up my routine and kick it up a notch – so I hired celebrity trainer, Ashley Conrad – set new goals for my second round.

I first saw Ashley featured in Carmel Magazine. She was an incredible toned young woman and honestly I felt anger seeing her photograph. Being an old flabby 51-year old, how could I ever look young and firm again? Making peace with the fact that I will never look 20, 30 or even 40 again, I decided I could be super healthy! So I called her!!!! A few days later we met, I challenged her with my new goals, and surprisingly – she took me on, even though I was NO celebrity!

You can check out Ashely at:

Ashley incorporated the plank pose into my exercise routine. The plank pose is practiced in yoga and the sports world. I learned the power of the plank pose quickly. I hated it, it hurt, it was hard, but 6 months later I had ABS! I have never had abs before – and now at 51 I have freaking abs! You can see them if you don’t believe me, click here. OK, I don’t have a 6-pack, but I do have a 2-pack.

Once you learn the basics, you will hold this pose for a 10 to 20 count, two or three times in a workout. Sound easy? Once you try, your world will begin to shake, sweat will pour out of every pore and you will beg for it to end. You may be asking, “What’s so great about the plank pose?”

The Plank Pose promises:

• A strong core
• Strong abdominals
• Strong quads
• Strong shoulders
• Strong wrists
• A strong spine
• Strong arms

Basically your entire body in one pose! The plank pose rocks, and improves your posture – which can make you look 10 pounds less.

Doing the plank pose properly is important to avoid injury. If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or low back problems this may not be the pose for you. Always consult with your health care provider before starting any new exercise regime.

How to do the plank pose:

• Get down on a yoga or exercise matt on all fours
• Shoulders over your wrists at a 90 degree angle
• Next, press your feet out and away from your body, so you are now in a push up position
• Your body is straight, like a plank, from your head to your heels
• Make sure your hips do not drop or raise above the straight body line
• Keep your neck neutral, do not strain, a natural extension of your spine
• Do not drop your chest
• Push through your heels, so your legs are strong, and heels are pointing to the ceiling
• Spread your fingers and press through your entire flat hand, this will take pressure off the wrists
• Hold for a 10 count, or 12, 15, 18 or 20 if you can. Then repeat two to three times in one workout session.

Variation of the Plank Pose:

Instead of shoulders over wrists, have your elbows under the shoulders and shoulder width apart. This variation is excellent for your abs and shoulder strength.

Practice the plank pose or variation two to three times per week. Hold for a count of 10, 12, 15, 18 or 20 depending on your level. Repeating two to three times in one workout session. You will quickly build strength and see results. If you are trying to lose weight, the plank pose will burn some serious calories.

Enjoy the power of the plank!

This entry was posted in fitness. Bookmark the permalink.