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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Power of the Push-Up and Plank

Have 5 minutes and want to break a sweat? Do some push-ups and planks. 

Push-Ups:

  • Start on all-fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and knees directly below your hips.    Engage your belly by sending you belly up to the lowest part of your spine. Take one leg back at a time planting both feet firmly onto the ground about hip-width apart.
  • As you bend your elbows, take a long inhale. For these kinds of push-ups I recommend keeping your elbows narrow to your waist as you bend. Make sure your head doesn't drop down and that your mid/upper back stays domed (to avoid winging your shoulder blades).
  • As you exhale, straighten your arms all the way. Repeat 10 times. 
Plank:

  • For this plank, start on your forearms. Remember to engage your belly throughout the exercise and send your shoulder blades down your back. Hold for 20 seconds.
  • Without wobbling, press yourself into a full plank (on your hands) one arm at a time.  Try to keep your pelvis stable as you move into full plank. Hold for 20 seconds.
  • Go back down into your forearm plank and repeat entire exercise once more
This is a perfect way to sneak in a little exercise during your lunch break or even if you're feeling restless at your desk. It will tone your arms, shoulders, and abs. Give it a try and tell us what you think! :)

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