I’ve been so busy working on what I’m writing for next month’s blog posts that I have slacked in July! Luckily, I have the wonderful Gina Horkey, who has been published on The Huffington Post and is the author of The Horkey Handbook, to write a guest post for this month. So far, Learning to be Leigh has been focused on getting out of health and fitness comfort zones and this post is no different. Gina is taking a personal approach to let you all see why it’s so great to expand your comfort zones and be the healthiest and best feeling version of YOU! See how Gina got out of her comfort zone and improved her body and lifestyle:
If you started the 30 Day Plank Challenge with me, then you’re probably as bittersweet about the last day as I am. There were times I had to put my knees on the ground because my core didn’t get as strong as the 30 Day Challenge thought it should be at the end of the month. And if we’re going to be honest with each other, it got really boring holding a plank for more than a couple of minutes. Or maybe I have undiagnosed ADD.
During my journey of planking, I came across a lot of variations of planking that complement and increase the benefits of a regular plank. Learn about these variations at the following link for Women’s Health (a great magazine for women that either want to get in shaper or already are in shape) demonstrating a few ways to switch up your challenge.
(Sorry, but you will have to manually copy and paste this link.) http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/plank-exercise?cm_mmc=Pinterest-_-womenshealth-_-content-fitness-_-makeplanksharder
If you haven’t started the challenge yet or are still working toward the end of the 30 days, I recommend incorporating some of these variations into your daily planking so that you don’t get as bored as I did. The link will show you ways to do a side plank, and if you’re feeling super athletic, you can do a plank into a push up and go back up into a plank. I tried this one for “fun” and quickly realized how much upper body strength is necessary. If you are trying to get a great upper body, try this!
As a result of the 30 Day Plank Challenge, I do feel that my core is stronger, but I didn’t notice a visible difference. We all want abs of steel, but don’t get discouraged if you haven’t noticed a visible difference either! I promise that your muscles are so much stronger than they were on Day 1 regardless of the lack of a six-pack staring back at you in the mirror. Like I said in my last post, planking works best as an addition to the workouts you’re already doing and you should feel the difference in your posture and other exercises that you do. Maybe you’re walking a little taller? I know I am!
I’m going to continue planking as a part of my workout program and hope you’ll do the same. Let me know what you thought about the 30 Day Plank Challenge or if you’re excited about starting it! I hope you’ll continue to join me as I start a new challenge to get me out of my comfort zone next month!
Maybe next month I’ll bring sexy back.
Back to planking….
Do you remember a few years ago when people would “plank” on anything and everything?
Before these people made planking on any random surface a thing, it was a great exercise that people did IN THE GYM. The plank is a position that will strengthen your core when done on a regular basis. I don’t know about you, but my core could use some strengthening. After pulling my back on my birthday (happy birthday to me) a few weeks ago, I was told by my chiropractor and personal trainer that back pulling happens a lot less when you have a strong core and they both suggested planking on a daily basis in addition to the exercise I already do weekly. Today will start my first day of the 30 Day Plank Challenge.
The 30 Day Plank Challenge is exactly what it sounds like…30 days of planking (camels optional). Today I will start out holding a plank for a mere 20 seconds and will work my way up to being able to hold a plank for FIVE MINUTES by the end of the 30 days. I’ve always tried not to cry when I’ve had to hold a plank for 60 seconds, so the end of May should be interesting. Here is what my calendar of planking will look like:
I challenge you to try the 30 Day Plank Challenge with me and keep me posted on your progress! Or if you’ve already done the challenge, let me know how it went in a comment below! I hate to disappoint you, but I will not be planking on camels, grills, or anything other than the floor. I’ll check back in next week with how the challenge is going! Until then, you can also follow me on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/learning2bleigh and on Instagram if you search for learningtobeleigh.