Hi all.. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve found that the most stubborn excess weight to budge is on my tummy. Now, lots of people will say that if you’ve had kids, you can’t achieve flat abs, but I respectfully, but strongly disagree. There’s just too many fit healthy Mummas out there with gorgeous, healthy abs to make this ‘theory’ stand up.
I mean, let’s be real.. our tummy muscles are torn in half with our first pregnancy, and there’s no glueing those babies back together, so if you’re asking if your tummy will get back to looking the same that it did pre-kids.. than the answer is a resounding no. It’s kinda like your facial features before and after braces. Structural change creates changes to the surface of our body… ain’t nothin’ gonna make that go back to the way it was before (well, maybe some super fantastic plastic surgeon could achieve it for a price… but hey, I’m not a big advocate for that course of action.😂)
I’ve spend lots of time in recent years doing crunches and sit-ups.. but I’ve gotta say, I’m not too keen on those methods. I end up with a sore neck/back/butt (I kinda ‘broke’ my tailbone as a kid, so anything where you pivot constantly on your butt isn’t the most comfortable thing to do.)
When I spent a solid year working with a PT 2 times per week in 2016, she had me planking as the predominant core strength exercise. While it takes a bit to get the knack, and concentration to ensure you continue to use the right form every time etc, it really is the best way to work your core.
While getting into the proper form is straightforward, holding the position takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core. The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance.
I had started to think it was a little boring, until I discovered, and created, different variations to the exercise. These not only help to work different muscle’s etc, but keep things more interesting, as well as distract you from the burn. (yes, it burns, but it’s worth it !!)
Some of my favs are shoulder taps, reaching sideways and front to back with a resistance band, side plank where you reach your hand in the air, single forearm plank reaching alternating arms in front of you, knee to inside elbow plank, knee to outside elbow plank…. I could seriously go on.. but in general, you just need to keep them interesting so you don’t get bored. YouTube search ‘plank variations’ and you’ll find loads of videos to check out.
Planking is such a versatile move and is best known for working your core, but planks also engage more than 20 muscles, including your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and glutes. To perfect proper form of the good old fashioned basic plank, start with the basic plank. Practice holding that plank, starting on knees to begin with, until you can go up on your toes.. for 30 seconds at a time, adding 15 seconds each time you work out. Once you can hold a basic plank for a minute, move on to more interesting variations … and before you know it, you’ll begin to see real transformation.
Click here to see one of my absolute FAV ab workouts with Danette May. This chick is 40yrs old, and she’s had 3 kids people… so no excuses. It just requires commitment and dedication.. and not a whole lot of time each day. I really love Danette’s principals as she has really practical methods for busy Mums. We don’t have all the time in the world to be at the gym 5 days per week. We need quick but effective workouts that will achieve results. Workouts that don’t require a lot (if any) equipment are also fantastic !!
In general though, I really think the plank was the great base that helped me train myself to hold my core in. Not only for all workout exercises, but also just in general throughout the day. So, while the planking itself gets results, it’s the flow on effect that helps overall too, as holding in that belly (& tucking ya booty under) makes a subtle but really noticeable difference to your stance. And let’s face it, it’s subtle improvements like these that make us happy with what we see in the mirror, and happier with how we appear in a photograph etc.
Some people say it’s vanity to want to look good, but it’s important to remember that Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s handiwork… as well as in Genesis 1:27, So God created mankind in his own image. Personally, I want to feel that I’m presenting myself at my best (at HIS BEST). When it comes down to it… are we respecting the temple He gave us if we don’t ? Are we reflecting His image if we don’t?
Points to ponder I’m sure. Until we chat again, happy planking !!