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Sharp Health News

Celebrate ‘Planksgiving’ (infographic)

Nov. 25, 2015

The holiday season could also be called the slouchy season. We spend more time than normal sitting and eating; it's often too cold to spend a lot of time outdoors; and our cozy sweaters and scarves mask our winter bodies.

Do more for your core. Take our 7-day "thanks and planks" challenge and work your way up to the perfect plank. Planks help build your core's abdominal muscles, but also help tone hamstrings, glutes and shoulders.

Drop and give us 20 — seconds — at work, school or home, and start planking your way to better posture.

Celebrate Planksgiving. Worried about weight gain this holiday season? Rebuild your abs after heavy feasting by taking our seven-day planks and thanks challenge. Hold it and hang on: Day one, hold your plank for 20 seconds. Day two, hold it for 30 seconds. Day three, hold for one minute. Day four, hold your plank for one minute and 30 seconds. Day five, hold it for two minutes. Day 6, hold it for two minutes and 30 seconds. Day 7, hold your plank for three minutes. The shortest distance to a proper plank is a straight line. Here are some tips: Keep your ears in line with your shoulders. Line up your elbows under your shoulders.	Squeeze your backside, but don’t lock your knees. Keep your pelvis in a neutral position. Keep your shoulders, hips and heels in line. Keep your ankles at a 90-degree angle. When performed correctly, planks are a functionally superior movement for strengthening the core, glutes, low back and upper body, while providing support to the spine and pelvis, says Tom Dodsworth, an exercise trainer at Sharp HealthCare. Unlike other core exercises that require flexing the spine, the plank maintains the spine’s neutral position.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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