Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Flow....My 5 Plank Flow

June has come to an end and so has Marcia's plank challenge. We started off in May with planks. There weren't any rules save for a daily plank and a post to Instagram. Some folks planked for time and others (ahem, me) got all creative with their planks.

Because does it really matter what you do as long as you plank? Planks are the single best exercise you can do for your core. Oh sure, planks are great for the upper body, but if done properly, there is no better activity to strengthen your core.

There was some good-natured banter between Kim from Running on the Fly and me, and a few other blogger friends joined in. There were planks with dogs, planks in dresses, and we even upped the ante with planking in different settings. It was really fun!

In June, Marcia proposed a push-up challenge. The goal was to get to 100 push-ups by the end of the month. And really, since a push-up is really a plank, a lot of us continued to post plank pictures. I hit my goal of 100 push-ups last weekend while I was on vacation. I won't lie--it was hard. But I'm glad I did it.

For my final day of planking this month,  I did a 5 plank yoga flow. I wish I could take credit for the series, but that goes to my yoga instructor. He had no inkling that I was in need of a fresh idea for the end of the challenge! We did this flow in class Wednesday and I headed to the park to recreate it. It was the perfect ending to a really fun challenge.



This post assumes you have a basic knowledge of yoga. I've linked to a few articles to help you if you are unfamiliar with sun salutations and vinyasas. I've tried to include modifications to make the poses more accessable as well or more advanced. Throughout the series, remember to tighten your core and glutes and breathe! Reach your top hand to the sky and look towards your hand. Don't forget to smile! You know my motto: smiling makes everything feel easier! This is a fun, playful series!

To begin the series, start off by doing a few sun salutations to warm up the body. Once you feel adequately loose, you can move from downward dog into plank to start the flow. Hold each pose for at least 5 breaths. Repeat the series on the other side.

Plank pose
Move both feet together so your ankles are touching. Then roll onto the side of your right foot to side plank. If you can't balance with your feet stacked, you can modify by placing both of them on the ground.

Side plank
Open your legs to wide leg side plank. Make sure you hold your core tight and don't forget to breathe! If you are able to get your foot to your hand, you can toe lock your top leg. You can also place your top leg in tree pose or half lotus if that is accessible to you. And if you're in half lotus, feel free to bind!

Wide leg side plank
Flip to your back, placing your top leg on the ground and reaching your top hand behind you for wild thing. Try to reach your hand as far back as possible.

Wild thing--you make my heart sing!
Flip back over to forward facing plank. Slide your back leg under your top leg for cross-legged plank. You could also put your front toes on the ground, bending your knee to 90 degrees for kickstand plank.

Cross-legged plank
To close the series, bring your front leg back, put your top hand on the ground and resume plank. Do a vinyasa and perform the series on the opposite side.

Plank
I did make a video of the series as well. Unfortunately, I wasn't being mindful and I videoed myself using vertical orientation. So I apologize for that. But you can check out the whole flow here:



So, what's next? Well, Marcia has proposed a squat challenge for July. Time to work on the bootay, apparently. This could be fun! Are you joining us?

Did you plank or push-up the last couple of months with us? Did you notice if you got stronger? Will you be squatting with us?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta: Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five!






72 comments :

  1. This is great - and thanks for the video! I do planks whenever I do a strength workout, so 2-3 x/week. I usually just hold front and side planks for 60-90 sec each.

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    1. It's nice to mix it up with variations!

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  2. You know I love me some planking! I do them daily regardless of any friendly challenges lurking;-) I can tell my core has gotten "tighter" and has some definition (still no six-pack, but I'm OK with that). Great job!!

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    1. Oh me too! But doing them daily has definitely made me stronger!

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  3. These are some Great tips! I'm not much for yoga but you've inspired me to give it another go

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    1. Oh, I hope you find your flow! Yoga has helped me in all aspects of my life.

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  4. Love the flow! At least 30 pushups are permanently in my routine and I'm going to keep the planks in there as well. Now to kick some booty...

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    1. I've gotten so much stronger these past 2 months. Amazing what a little planking will do...

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  5. Looks like a great flow! It always amazes me how planks can target just about every muscle I have! :)

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    1. I really believe that pushups are the complete upper body exercise!

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  6. I love a good plank and I love these variations! I used to be so much better about doing planks regularly and I've been trying to reincorporate them in to my daily routine.

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    1. I just love doing planks! The rewards come after doing them for a while.

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  7. You are quite the plank machine! Great form. And I have to ask- are you planking on an incline or is the photo just titled a little? I imagine an incline would be tough.

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    1. I think there was a little of both in these pictures! I usually try to straighten them out when I'm editing them.

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  8. Love love love it! You make it looks so graceful and easy!

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    1. Grace is my middle name! Not! But thank you! :)

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  9. Wow, that looks tough! Your plank challenge sure paid off.

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    1. It was really fun! And to be able to do this is so rewarding.

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  10. How did I miss all these challenges?! Your wide plank looks great. No way I could pull that off. I've been working on push-ups for a while but I top out at 10 in one set. Great job!

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  11. Thanks for posting the vid so we could see how these flowed together! :)

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    1. I figured that would be helpful! I"m such a visual person, I would need it!

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  12. I LOVE planking!! And I love all of these variations.

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  13. When I was doing yoga, there were so many planks we did during the sessions. It was definitely a good feeling. Congrats on completing the plank and push up challenge.

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    1. It was a fun challenge and a great way to wrap up the month.

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  14. I like planing. I like push ups. I don't like squats. Not sure I am going to join you on this venture, we'll see !

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    1. Oh, but my yoga instructor says that the poses we don't like are the ones we need! Hmmmm

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  15. Oh this is nice! I didn't get on the plank train but really think I need to start doing daily planks, so I've started it up this month!

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    1. I'm so happy with how much stronger I feel after doing the plank challenge!

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  16. Both you and Kim have really encouraged me to get back to planking and I am loving how great it feels

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  17. I'm never a do a certain exercise every day kind of person. I subscribe to the theory that you need to rest whatever group you worked on.

    But I'm not a trainer & I don't play one of the internet. :)

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    1. I don't necessarily think that's true for the kind of things we are doing--certainly if you are in the gym lifting weights and focusing on one area of the body. But daily planks or squats seem pretty harmless. The challenge was really fun!

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  18. Totally doing that with my clients later. I love to plank them out at the end!

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  19. This flow looks awesome. You're really rocking these challenges!

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    1. This kind of challenge is right up my alley!

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  20. Love the idea of a squat challenge! And that plank flow is great!

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    1. My coach was all over the squat challenge. She's forever getting me to work on my posterior chain.

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  21. great flow! i try to do planks daily and have ab routines in various classes. I can't commit to challenges but good luck on those squats!

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    1. The plank challenge was pretty low pressure--pretty sure the squat challenge will be as well. And I'm all about that strength...

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  22. LOVE this. My fave is definitely Wild Thing!

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  23. I just started doing planks three weeks ago. Not ready for any of those variations yet, but I'm filing this away for use down the road....even if it is filmed vertically! ;)

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    1. You could totally do this--I threw in a lot of variations to make the planks easier or more difficult.

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  24. I'm better with forearm planks as they don't bother my wrists. I need to get deeper in my squats but my body like to fight me on that.

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    1. Oh sure--going deep in squats doesn't feel good! But oh, those results!

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  25. I do side planks a few times a week as part of my core strengthening. I still find them really hard but you make them look easy--well done!

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    1. I find them hard too--I was struggling with balance when I filmed myself and I was worried that my wobbling would show in the video! It's all about the core!

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  26. i love doing planks..and thanks for all these variations with it. i plan on doing them in the morning to get started :)

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    1. Variety is the spice of life, right?

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  27. We do planks in every Pure Barre class and I have a love/hate relationship with them :)

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  28. Love me some planking. I started a challenge in May to plank every day until my hubby comes home, and haven't missed a day yet!

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    1. That's a great goal. Hopefully you'll keep planking after he gets home, too!

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  29. I really need to try this :) I like detailed instruction...my stupid toes have kept me from planking but I did do push ups because I can tuck my foot :) I can do more now, than before! I would still like to work on increasing the amount I can do at one time though. Squats sound fun!

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    1. If you wear shoes, would that help your toes? The squats will be a nice change of pace, altho I will keep on planking!

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  30. Looks like a good flow, although I always shake on the side plank. I'm going to have to check out the squat challenge.

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    1. I"m shaking in the video altho you can't really tell!

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  31. This is great! I am pinning this to do. I am trying hard to work on my Core Strength, thanks so much for sharing!!

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    1. Thanks for the share! This is a fun flow and it's all about core!

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  32. My running group always ends with a few planks :)

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  33. You are a plank goddess! I definitely need to start planking more!!

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    1. For sure, planking has helped my running by making me hold my core in!

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  34. NIce! I love it when we do these planks move in yoga! No reason why I can't do them on my own though- I need to try and fancy it up a bit :) Hope you are having a nice weekend!

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    1. This will really fancy up your planking! :p

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  35. I'm sure you've gotten quite strong with all of those planks that you've been doing. Are you going to keep up with the planks while you also take on the squats challenge?

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    1. There will always be planks--they are such an important, basic fitness move!

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