The term “core strength” in fact refers to the strength of deep muscle groups in the back, abdomen, and glutes. These three muscle groups are vital for supporting the spine and maintain balance.
However, their strength is important for all, especially for the ones who lead a sedentary lifestyle or their job involves sitting for most of the time.
If you manage to strengthen the core, you will improve the body posture, support the spine and avoid pain.
Most of you are probably unaware of the fact that core exercises do not only include exercises for the abdominal muscles. These exercises also engage the back muscles and the glutes in order to support the spine with the entire body.
This is also advisable for people who are top-heavy and often strain their back.
Yet, these exercises are far more physically engaging and mentally stimulating than the tedious sit-ups. When it comes to strengthening the core, the most beneficial exercise you can do is the plank.
Dr. Jinger Gottschall, assistant professor of kinesiology at Penn State University, states that:
“[planks] maintain the stability of the core muscles, which support proper posture by safeguarding an erect position and proper alignment of the spine” and allows for “more three-dimensional activation, from hip to shoulder, whereas the crunch is an isolated move that hits just your abs.”
Planks offer numerous health benefits despite strengthening the abs, as they improve the mood, enhance your flexibility, provide stamina, and relieve back pain.
Yet, initially, doing these exercises may be quite a challenge, as they engage more muscle groups at the same time.
However, after finishing the 28-day challenge, you will have significantly toned the core muscles, reduced belly fat, and improved your posture!
If doing the planks is a bit difficult at first, you can work your way up to a full plank by doing several modifies training steps. In the following video, Coach Tulin will provide the needed instructions:
The 28 Day Plank Challenge
The most important thing in doing planks is to maintain the right position. In his video, Scott Herman Fitness explains how to do planks correctly.
This challenge will slowly increase the intensity and difficulty levels, by prolonging the time for holding the plank position. Eventually, you should be able to hold it for 4 minutes. Yet, as you will regularly do the planks, you will gradually tone your core muscles daily.
This is the plan you need to follow:
DAY 1 – 20 SECONDS
DAY 2 – 20 SECONDS
DAY 3 – 30 SECONDS
DAY 4 – 30 SECONDS
DAY 5 – 40 SECONDS
DAY 6 – REST
DAY 7 – 45 SECONDS
DAY 8 – 45 SECONDS
DAY 9 – 60 SECONDS
DAY 10 – 60 SECONDS
DAY 11 – 60 SECONDS
DAY 12 – 90 SECONDS
DAY 13 – REST
DAY 14 – 90 SECONDS
DAY 15 – 90 SECONDS
DAY 16 – 120 SECONDS
DAY 17 – 120 SECONDS
DAY 18 – 150 SECONDS
DAY 19 – REST
DAY 20 – 150 SECONDS
DAY 21 – 150 SECONDS
DAY 22 – 180 SECONDS
DAY 23 – 180 SECONDS
DAY 24 – 210 SECONDS
DAY 25 – REST
DAY 26 – 210 SECONDS
DAY 27 – 240 SECONDS
DAY 28 – Try to hold as much as possible.