Planking Tips & Blog Designing

I’ve been struggling with some major motivation issues lately – as I’m sure you tell by reading my posts over the last few weeks.  There has been pretty minimal amounts of running happening, but I have been keeping up with the weight lifting, so that’s good.  So here’s another post on a new strength training thing I’m going to do in addition to my regular arm weight circuits I’ve been doing.

Friday evening, I started something I’m going to do every other day – planking.  I’ve done planks on and off but really just like a total of maybe 2 or 3 minutes each time – both regular and side planks.  But I decided to start a new type of plank workout.

I set the timer on my phone for 10 minutes.  I started the timer as I started a plank.  I held the plank for as long as I could, and then when I stopped, I stopped the timer.  I took a short break, then went into another plank and re-started the clock.  I did this until I made it all the way down to 3 minutes remaining, so for a total of 7 minutes.  I think each of my planks ended up being anywhere from 0:50 to 1:10.  I was ALMOST done with the book I was reading (Caught) so I set up to continue reading while I was planking.  I think that helped.


My abs were sore through today, but I knew I should do it again.  Tonight, I set the timer for 7 minutes.  I think I’ll try to master the 7 minute length for a week or 2 and then try to increase by a minute each week, doing this every other night.  Actually maybe I should try to do it every night since I’m usually just hanging out watching TV or reading on weeknights anyways.

Currently, I don’t have a plan like this for side planks, but I think I’ll also try to work those in as well.  Here’s the goals:

  • Increase to 10 minutes total by the end of the year
  • Decrease the total number of planks I do in the total time (lower number of planks = longer planks)

 

And here’s a few planking tips:
  • BREATHE.  I kept forgetting to breathe while planking.
  • Flex.  It’s already a hard ab workout, but if you also try to flex/suck in while doing it, it makes it even harder.
  • Stay straight.  After awhile, it’s harder to maintain good form, but try to think of yourself as straight as possible as if a wood plank had to lay flat on top of you..even if you have a big booty.
  • Use a yoga mat.  Otherwise you will bruise your elbows and probably knees when you bring them down and rest on them during the break periods.  Maybe even put a folded t-shirt down where your elbows go for a little extra padding.
  • Don’t watch the time.  Read something or listen to music or a TV show without watching the time.  It would be hard to actually watch a show though because it would hurt your neck; you should keep your head looking down.

 
Alright, so let’s all have 6-packs by the summer!  No waiting til April to get into “bikini shape.”  Besides, I want to plan a tropical vacation for around March. 

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been in the process of making a lot of design changes to my blog.  When I first started it, my layout and features were super rudimentary.  I started the blog pretty much with the intention to share with my family and close friends to hold me accountable for my Chicago Marathon training.  But now that I’ve been delving further into the blogosphere and connecting with other bloggers, etc. I needed to redesign to make it prettier :)  Please let me know if you have any suggestions and I’m sorry if my sidebars keep changing up a little each time you’ve visited over the past week or so.

And a Katy Perry update: She just opened the AMAs with a performance of Unconditionally and it was wonderful…but I like basically everything she does, so obviously I’m going to think that.   Although her album now is much different than her previous albums, at least it is not a terrible difference in the way that Miley Cyrus went from the awesomeness that is Party in the USA to whatever it is that she is now.   Also, I’m having a great time tweeting things about the AMAs right now, so you should follow me @CSmith_Run.  I’m usually not all up on the celeb stuff (except Katy Perry), but this is fun.

Do you do planks regularly? Or occasionally?

Any design suggestions for my blog??  CSmith learn HTML.

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