“Core strength” is more than just a fitness buzz term to remind you that you probably don’t do enough sit-ups. Core strength actually refers to the strength of deep muscle groups in your abdomen, back, and glutes — the three muscle groups that are essential to supporting your spine and helping you maintain your balance. If what you do involves sitting for a large part of your day, strengthening these core muscles could be more important to your health than you think. Odds are, you aren’t sitting at your desk with perfect posture for hours on end, but strengthening your core could help support your spine and prevent the pain and poor posture that comes from sitting slumped over your desk all day long.
I know that exercising your core can seem tedious when your go-to exercise is literally sitting up and laying back down 100 times in a row. But what most people don’t know is that working your core means more than just your abdominal muscles, but also engaging your glutes and back muscles as well so that the work of supporting your spine is distributed throughout your body. This is especially important for anyone who is top-heavy and strains their back regularly. Fortunately, a full core workout can be much more physically engaging and mentally stimulating than sit-ups.
Why are planks so helpful?
Planks are an essential exercise in working your core. According to Dr. Jinger Gottschall, assistant professor of kinesiology at Penn State University,
“[planks] maintain the stability of the core muscles, which support proper posture by safeguarding an erect position and proper alignment of the spine” and allows for “more three-dimensional activation, from hip to shoulder, whereas the crunch is an isolated move that hits just your abs.”
Planks have many overall health benefits beyond toning your abs, they also help reduce back pain, improve your mood, and increase your flexibility. Because they engage several muscle groups simultaneously, planks can be a bit of a challenge at first. Luckily, this 28-day plank challenge will ease you into core work and have your tummy flatter and posture improved in no time!
Try This If You Can’t Do a Plank
If you’re not quite ready to jump right in to planking, don’t worry!
This video from Coach Tulin shows you how to work your way up to a full plank by using these modified training steps to learn how to engage your core muscles first.
MODIFIED PLANK FOR BEGINNERS:
The 28 Day Plank Challenge
This 28 day challenge gradually increases the time you will hold your body in the plank position each day. By the end of the challenge, your goal is to be able to hold the plank for 4 minutes straight.
The first and most important part of doing this plank challenge is to make sure you’re doing it correctly. This instructional clip from Scott Herman Fitness shows you how to do a proper plank.
DAY 1 – 20 SECONDS
DAY 2 – 20 SECONDS
DAY 3 – 30 SECONDS
DAY 4 – 30 SECONDS
DAY 5 – 40 SECONDS
DAY 6 – REST
DAY 7 – 45 SECONDS
DAY 8 – 45 SECONDS
DAY 9 – 60 SECONDS
DAY 10 – 60 SECONDS
DAY 11 – 60 SECONDS
DAY 12 – 90 SECONDS
DAY 13 – REST
DAY 14 – 90 SECONDS
DAY 15 – 90 SECONDS
DAY 16 – 120 SECONDS
DAY 17 – 120 SECONDS
DAY 18 – 150 SECONDS
DAY 19 – REST
DAY 20 – 150 SECONDS
DAY 21 – 150 SECONDS
DAY 22 – 180 SECONDS
DAY 23 – 180 SECONDS
DAY 24 – 210 SECONDS
DAY 25 – REST
DAY 26 – 210 SECONDS
DAY 27 – 240 SECONDS
DAY 28 – Hold as long as possible
Sources: HuffingtonPost, BreakingMuscle, AceFitness, Fitness Mercola, Scott Herman Fitness, Coach Tulin
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.