Strengthening the core is an important aspect of any exercise program. Not only does a strong and solid core look good, but more importantly, it helps to stabilize, balance, and power the body during just about every other activity. Core strength is the basis for all coordinated and powerful athletic movements. The muscles that make up what we call the core, include more than just the abs. The muscles that run from the pelvis along the spine and to the shoulder girdle all make up the core.

It is these muscles, working together, that make it possible to move efficiently, and transfer power to the arms and legs. A strong core  can also help reduce stress on the joints and helps protects against many common injuries.

To ensure you keep your core strong and stable, consider adding core strengthening exercises to your exercise program for a new way and effective way to build strength and stability.

Here is how to properly perform a plank exercise:

  1. Begin in the plank position with your forearms and toes on the floor.
  2. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
  3. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
  4. Pull your belly button to your spine as you breathe out and in.
  5. Hold this position for 10 seconds to start.
  6. Over time work up to 30, 45 or 60 seconds.

There are several variations of the regular plank that further work the core muscles to build strength and stability. A plank with a leg lift, plank with an arm lift, side plank.

You may be surprised that your recreational activities improve.

     Level 2 plank sidelying