Today's Challenge is The Side Plank, for time ( For Time means holding perfect form for as long as possible. Once form fails, stop and note your result. ). Rest for 45 sec between doing left side plank and right side plank. Note any differences in comfort and degree of difficulty from one side to the other.  Small imbalances are normal, however if it's a big difference this imbalance needs to be addressed as it's likely causing you other problems. 

Why do it?  

The whole point of these 30 days is to improve all aspects of core strength and to witness improvements in other exercises as a result of these gains.  A great way to add a whole new dimension to the work is to perform a side plank. This version of the plank places more emphasis on the obliques. It can also really help strengthen the lower back, reducing risk of injury and reducing lower back pain.  

How do you do it 

 

 

Lie on your side, prop up on your elbow with your forearm pressed into the floor, making sure your shoulders are stacked directly over each other and your elbow.  Keep all the core and leg muscles tight but not so tight as to interfere with your normal breathing.  Try to keep your head in line with your spine.  

 

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This exercise is done with both feet also stacked on top of each other.  

To make it slightly easier and to share share the load off of just the lower knee you can place the top foot on the floor, just in front of the bottom foot heel touching toes.  Make sure your hips and shoulders stay sacked over each other if you do this.  Don't allow top side to roll forward.  Placing hand on hip with elbow high or top arm stretched straight up over shoulders can help you stay upright.   

To make this exercise tougher, raise the top leg straight up so it isn't resting on the lower leg, and hold it there.

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Only try to maintain this position if you find 30 sec of regular side plank not challenging. 

 Note:  

This plank can cause discomfort in the shoulder and often this can be the weak link. Please pay attention to this and stop before it becomes too uncomfortable or before you damage it. Don't push through any serious discomfort in the shoulder just because you feel you need to push your core to failure.  With time,  the shoulder adapts and will allow you test your core soon.  Stay smart and don't hurt yourself for the sake of a 30 day online challenge 😉

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