Exercise of the Month – September 2009
Side Plank with Bent Knee
Side Planks focus on the oblique abdominals (a.k.a., muscles along each side of your waistline), as well as your gluteal muscles (a.k.a., your butt). By strengthening these muscles, you decrease lower back pain, and aid in minimizing your waistline.
Starting Position: Lie on your right side with your left leg lying directly over your right leg and bend your knees to a comfortable position. Raise your upper body to support yourself on your right arm, your right elbow should bend to 90 degrees directly under your shoulder. Align your head with your spine and keep your hips and lower knee in contact with the exercise mat.
Upward Phase: Exhale, gently contract your abdominal/core/tummy muscles to stiffen your spine and lift your hips off the mat, while keeping contact with your knee, and head aligned with your spine. Hold this upward position for 15 to 30 seconds.
Lowering Phase: Inhale and gently return yourself to your starting position. Rest for 5 seconds, then begin the Upward Phase for another 15 to 30 seconds.
Complete this Upward & Lowering Phase 5 to 8 times before starting with your left side.
Exercise/Intensity Variations: You can increase the exercise intensity by increasing the length of time you are in the raised position, and by raising the non-supportive arm straight out to your side.
FYI: This exercise should take less than 10 minutes to complete and can easily be done upon getting out of bed. Perform this exercise 4 to 6 times weekly, and after a few weeks, notice the strength and flexibility you gain… and your back and waistline may thank you! 😉
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