If you read this post, you know that the plank is a challenge for me; a pain in my back very literally. I have spent a lot of time avoiding this core-strengthening exercise due to fear and frustration. I am happy to announce that I can now hold a plank for almost 2 minutes. (1 minute, 45 seconds, give or take a second.)
Suddenly, I decided to face my plank fears and just keep on trying. What had I to lose? At times if an exercise is difficult, and I am feeling pending doom, I simply don’t do it. I am always telling the children at school to keep at a task, even if it is difficult, to persevere and never give up on your goals and all that encouraging stuff. Well, I finally started to take my own advice. I did a lot of planks at home, as well as in the gym. I often asked Andy to time my plank hold, because I found if I looked down at my phone’s stop watch and only saw like the 20 second mark, I would become discouraged because I already felt like quitting. If I became fatigued after 40 seconds, I would just stop and rest, and try again another day. Gradually my plank hold increased. If I felt my back starting to droop mid-plank, or my arms begin to tremble, I would tighten my abdominal, breath deeply and try not to think of the time.
Six months ago in my rock hard abs class, the instructor set a goal for participants to hold a 3 minute plank. I thought, yeah right, I’ll never be able to do that. I can barely even hold one minute. Now, I am beginning to see this goal become a reality. I have officially moved up in the plank rank and this is an exercise that I no longer fear, but look forward to doing to test my limits. So if there is an exercise you just loathe, and avoid out of sheer fear, be not afraid my pretty’s. Keep trying and you will improve.
(it is always advisable to inquire with a certified fitness trainer if uncertain about form and safety.)