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"Rock Your Abs to the Core" (Part 2)

It was just last month that we revisited that all too familiar abdominal exercise the Plank. Apparently, it has been successful for many who have attempted the challenge. If you are not yet on board, see last month’s edition (“Work the Plank and “Rock” Your Abs to the Core!”) so you are up to speed.

For those of you who have successfully completed the challenge and even for those just tuning in, here is yet another quick, simple way to work those abs.

Start with a traditional plank – assume a traditional push-up position - bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest on your forearms. (Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.) Hold this position for 30 seconds. If 30 seconds is beyond your capabilities hold it for as long as you can. Take brief rest periods and assume the position again until you reach a total of 30 seconds.

Next up - the side plank. This form of the plank really targets the oblique muscles (That side group of muscles many of you have expressed concern about). Laying on your side, place your elbow on the ground beneath your shoulder and stack your legs out to the side so that the heels, knees, and hips are aligned with your elbow. Lift the hips so that they are in line with your legs and torso creating a straight line. Once again hold this position 30 seconds or as long as you can up to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Last, but surely not least – move on to the ‘V’ Sit. Begin in a seated position, contract your abdominal muscles, and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle. Reach your arms straight forward or reach up toward your shins as you are able. Maintain good posture. As in the previous exercises hold for 30 seconds or as close to 30 seconds as possible. This exercise requires slightly more lower back involvement and strength than the other two, so be sure to work within your capabilities. Protect your back at all times and play close attention to your form, posture and alignment. Return to the starting position slowly.

After completely each exercise once go back and repeat the sequence 2 more times for a total of 3. For a similar routine including the upper body, lower body and abs, see The November 2014 issue (“Don’t Move a Muscle) or come back next month for a new full-body stationary (isometric) workout. It’s Simple. It’s different. It works.

As always be sure to have your Physician’s approval and that you are free of limitations before beginning this or any exercise program.

Stay Safe and let me know how it goes!

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LORI HODGKINSONSenior Correspondent

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