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Planking: The Key to a Stronger Core

By Stephen R. Farris

There are tons of exercises out there to help in building a strong core, such as basic sit-ups, crunches, weight training and others to name a few. But have you tried planking? A few years ago it was an internet phenomenon where it seemed everyone was doing the "stiff board" pose and posting a picture of it on social media. In reality, it's probably the single most core strengthening exercise there is, according to studies.

By now you should know we all need a strong, healthy core in order to function normally in our everyday lives. Your core covers several areas such as your midsection, back, hips, glutes and pelvic region. If your core is weak, problems such as knee and hip pain can develop as well as pain in the lower back. 

So off we go to walk the, I mean, start doing planks to build a stronger core so we don't get fed to the sharks.

How It's Done

The first step is to lie down facing the floor and resting on your elbows with your legs extended out and your feet together. Next, push yourself up as to align your head, back, hips and feet into a straight line. Finally, hold that position for at least 30 seconds, then relax. The goal is to eventually do two or more each session and progressing to hold the pose for 60 seconds.

Sounds Easy

Sure. Get back to me after you've tried to do your first one. However, the more you do it, the outcome will have great benefits for your body, easy or not. It may take you several attempts to get the pose correctly, but eventually you'll get there. Just don't give up trying. As stated earlier, 30 to 60 seconds are good target points, even two minutes is great, but experts suggest no more than that. You might not even reach 30 seconds in your first few attempts, so it's okay to start in smaller increments such as 10 to 20 seconds until you can reach a suggested target point.

Do I Plank Everyday

You don't have to plank every day, but it's certainly not going to hurt if you incorporate planks into your normal workout routine on a daily basis -- or every other day. 

Check with your local chiropractor to see what tips and suggestions they may have to help you in building a stronger core. They may even have literature available for you to take home and read as well.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Valencia, Calif.

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