By Coach Jaz

Summertime is winding down, and now is the perfect time to make the commitment to sticking to a health and fitness routine that will keep or get you bikini ready for next year.   Here is one of the most important things you need to know:   building the entire core (abs, obliques, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, quads) is important as its the body’s foundation. A strong core means that you walk taller, exude confidence and look amazing.

To accomplish that, add the plank to your daily routine (preferably first thing in the morning).  The plank exercise is an easy and effective way strengthen your core and upper body.

Here is how it’s done:  Assume the push up position but with elbows and forearms on the floor. Keep elbows under your shoulder and keep a straight line from head to heels. Tighten the abs and glutes as you hold the position. Gravity wants you to collapse but you fight for as long as you can. The modified version is done with your knees on the ground. Hold the position for as long as you can and you can do this every day and time it. As you get more advanced add movement like marching, shoulder touches, going from elbows to palms and the dreaded side plank. If you have lower back issues you have have to lift your glutes slightly to relieve the pressure and doing it on your knees may be a better option.

As I said, try it first thing in the morning for core work and a boost of energy.  Then try to slip it in during the rest of your day.  Why not give it a try after you read this article!  Hold plank and let us know how long you were able to hold it for.  If you have question you can reach me at jasmine@pace4success.com or join me at my NYC studio Pace For Success for ‘Xtreme Core’, a class that includes lots of plank variations.

As always, contact your physician before starting any exercise regimen.