It’s time for Move Monday and today it’s everyone’s favorite move: Planks!
The biggest modification that I’ve had to make since I hit the 2nd trimester has been core work. A lot of exercises involve your core – possibly more than you realize. I get a good laugh every time I hear my spin instructors telling me to pull in my belly button and tighten my core. If only I could (and not that I don’t try)!
That said, core work is limited during pregnancy for good reason. Regular sit ups and crunches are discouraged more so for the comfort of the mother than that baby. Doing sit ups can also cause your abs to separate (diastasis recti) to which is I say, “No thanks!” Your organs and whatnot already need to settle back into place after giving birth – the last thing you need is for your abs to go crazytown. BUT you don’t need to give up core work. Nope. The work out move that allows you to keep your abs “toned” (I use that term loosely here)? Planks of course!
The best part is that there are several ways to do a plank! The most common way is definitely the Elbow Plank:
I can currently hold the Elbow Plank for about 45-60 seconds without feeling like my hips are going to give out! I see myself making some modifications soon though and here are some other options.
Traditional Straight Arm Plank:
It’s a little easier than Elbow, but the focus is still stabilizing your core.
Yes, I look like I’m birthing a cow in this picture but it’s basically a straight arm plank on your knees. This is a very basic plank that anyone should be able to do. Actually, if you are just starting out with planks and you don’t trust your core/back, this is a good place to start.
If you’re beyond the basics, there are a few more complicated plank moves…
Alternating between the Straight Arm position and the Elbow position is actually a really good way to transition between the two planking styles and also makes the time pass a little faster. Just make sure you do it one arm at a time!
Knee Touch Plank:
This one seems easier at first – until you keep going. You start in a Straight Arm Plank and then take alternated between touching the right knee and left knee onto the floor. Remember to keep your arms straight and your core tight!
Another one that seems easy. SEEMS. Start in a Straight Arm Plank and pulled your knee into your chest and hold for 10-15 seconds. Then alternate. How many can YOU do?
And lastly, the one that I currently find most challenging — the Leg Lift Plank:
Hold one leg up in a Straight Arm Plank position and then alternate. I look like an idiot doing this one, but it also kicks my ass so it’s worth it.
There are actually many others ways to plank, but there are the ones I’m comfortable doing at the moment. There are a few that attempted and almost fell over. I figured pictures of me laying on the floor weren’t going to fly!
Are you a lover or a hater of planks? What’s your favorite way to plank?
*Thanks to Dan for taking these silly (but necessary) pictures of me. I’m pretty sure when I told him he was going to take pictures of me planking that I was going to be lying round on the furniture in weird positions. He’s a trooper!*