This series, we have been discussing the solutions to an excuse that many people have for not starting a workout routine…they feel they aren’t “fit enough” to start.
I continue to tell people that wanting to get “in shape” before joining a gym is similar to wanting to learn how to read before you start school. It can be done, but you would be better served by going to school and learning how to read, then practicing some at home!
However, the point of this series is to help you to feel confident and fit enough to be able to walk into a gym, especially a CrossFit gym like Backward Arrow Modern Fitness and be able to start! So pay attention today and be sure that you read the other things you should be doing to get “fit enough” to start!
Today, we are talking about planks and supermans!
These two movements are critical to be able to complete so many movements. Let’s start with the plank!
The plank is a movement…kinda…that emphasizes using the muscles on the front side of your body. This static hold helps you to work your shoulders, abs, obliques (side abs), hip flexors and quads as well as some other smaller muscles.
There are many different variations (see video below) but all of them start the same way. Hold yourself in the top of a pushup position. Be sure that you are pushing the floor as far away from you as possible (arch your upper back). Additionally, you want to be sure that your lower part of your spine is neutral. That means that it doesn’t stick up in the air, but it doesn’t sag toward the floor either.
Most people start with static holds and that is a great place to start! Consider starting with 4 reps of holding for 15 seconds each. Rest about 30-60 seconds between each hold. As you get stronger, consider holding each attempt for longer until you are able to hold for over 90 seconds each!
That may take some time, but it will show the amazing stability and endurance of your body to hold some difficult positions! This translates well to being able to lift other objects as well!
The opposite of a plank is a superman hold or an arch hold. This static hold works the opposite side of your body, what we call the posterior chain. These muscles include the backs of your shoulders, your upper spine, your lower back muscles, your glutes and hamstrings. Being able to work all of these muscles, especially together at the same time will help you to be stronger for any lifts that you need to complete!
Additionally, working these muscles has relieved pain and problems that people have had for a long time! As a physical therapist, I frequently have people work these muscles to reduce the amount of spine pain that they have! It works wonders and people are very happy after they do exercises like these!
Like with planks above, this exercise can be a tough one to do early on. Work to hold an arch for about 10 seconds. Do this 4 times with 20-30 seconds of rest between each attempt. As you get stronger, you should work to hold this position for longer periods, again, until you can do this for 75-90 seconds at a time!
As you do this, you should find that you have more strength, less pain and improved posture with your daily activities!
However, adding these things may help you to feel “fit enough” for you to make your way into a gym and start pursuing your goals more completely!
Do you feel that you are at the point now where you want to come in to a gym to pursue your goals? Let us help you to take the next step! Sometimes that step can be scary, but we want to light the way and eliminate fear for you!
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