It’s tough to get 150 minutes of exercise into your week, as recommended by the CDC. But the more you do it and the more you come accustomed to breaking down exercise in small chunks, the easier it becomes to fit in your workouts every day.
One thing that works for me is to break down my workouts into areas of the body and do one minute exercises for 5 minutes. So I’ll do 5 minutes of exercise for my core, upper body, and lower body.
So, for example, the most important part of the body to work is the core: the abs, the lower back, the glutes, and hip flexors, because this is your base of control for the entire body.
I start my day with 5 minutes of core workouts most days of the week to make sure my core stays strong to help me prevent injuries and be able to try new activities (like picking up paddle boarding which requires incredible balance).
Planks are THE Way To Go!
There are tons and tons of ways to do a plank, but sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I like sticking with the basics. These 5 basic plank exercises strengthen your core, improve posture and lower back pain, and can also improve digestion. Get out your stop watch and perform these 5 exercises back to back for one minute each.
- Low Plank. Elbows under shoulders, feet back behind you like you’re in push up position, and keep a flat back. Tuck your chin a little to relieve tension in your neck.
- Right plank. Right hand directly under right shoulder supporting upper body. Left ankle crossed over right. Right foot is supporting the lower body. Left arm extended straight up.
- Reverse Plank. Sit down. Put your hands under your shoulders. Stretch your feet out in front of you. Push your butt into the air like you’re pushing your crotch towards the ceiling.
- Left plank. Same as eight plank but reverse. Left hand is directly under left shoulder supporting the upper body. Right ankle is crossed over the left ankle and the left foot is supporting the lower body. The right arm is extended straight up.
- Dolphin. This is a dynamic plank exercise that moves through a plank position. Start in high plank (push up position), push your butt up into Downward Facing Dog and press your heals into the floor. Then starting with your upper body, scoop your chest down to the floor and up into Cobra position. Then butt back into the air to Downward Facing Dog. Then back to Cobra, back and forth.
These are 5 simple plank exercises that you can do for one minute every day.
The great thing about these planks is that not only do they strengthen your core, they really strengthen your entire body from head to toe. And they are tough!
If you have 5 minutes to watch TV, get on the floor and try these exercises. They’re fun, they make you strong, and you’ll feel good afterwards.