Hello there folks,

How is everyone? Well I hope. I thought it was about time to check in with my Summer Training Update Part 2. This is totally something everyone can try and is NO WHERE NEAR AS HARD AS IT SOUNDS.

Recently, on Facebook the world record holder in the plank position showed up on my news feed, it’s like 8hrs or something crazy and I was flabbergasted to say the least. I struggle with my current timings of like a minute so that sounds just mental. Then later purely coincidentally I saw a post about planking for some seconds every day to improve toning and over all vitality. I read it and thought I would customise it to my own training standards (helping get Ski Season Ready). I personally do other exercise as well to aid in free riding but this is totally up to you, it’s simply a hopefully, helping suggestion.

So first before I tell you how to start the plank challenge, let’s review why it can be  beneficial for you:

1.) Planking is a body weight exercise that requires no money investment, very little time, no equipment and allows you to see the results happen in a short space of time. That’s all the key ingredients of a good “workout” right? It’s certainly speaking my language!

2.) Planking, in conjunction with many other muscles, allows you to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles help strengthen your back and help protect against injury. In the snow sports industry, your back its suck an easy area to damage, so theoretically speaking, strengthen your tummy, help protect your back.

3.) Improve posture. This is ideal for skiers and snowboarders, as better posture means again, spinal strength and another step in the right direction of preventing injury.

4.) Planking is an excellent position to improve balance. Balance is the magic word in skiing and snowboarding. Having total strength and awareness of every muscle makes you so much more adapted to harder tricks and general over all agility in your descent, whether you are on piste or off. This is why I still profess every snow sport enthusiast should be supplementing their days on the hill with a short yoga session. But continuing on that theme, planking helps you isolate your abdominal muscles, your lower and upper back along with your bum! It helps you build on your balance through that inevitable, yet satisfying burn of holding a body weight exercise position.

5.) Get sweating! I don’t know about you guys but planking can certainly help me work up a sweat, especially if a full mixed position 20 min or so work out. Sweating when exercising for me, has a direct line to that illusive part of the brain that releases all the happy hormones. One way to help me feel in control, happy and poised is exercise. Sometimes if i need a little boost, I don;t need to go do a 60 min work out, I can simply do some of my favorite yoga poses or plank for a few minutes. This helps make me feel grounded and overall improves my personal vitality.

Okay so, sounding good so far? I haven’t lost too many of you right? Well then, let’s explain how you can get started right now. Do variations of these poses for as long or as little as you like. Do only a few of them or do all of them.

1.) Basic Plank- Down on your forearms, BUM DOWN and toes on the ground, Nice strong line and hold. Min 20 seconds. increase the amount of time the more confident you get or the more time you have.

Rest 10 Seconds

2.) Basic Push up Position- Palms on the ground, press up position, BUM DOWN and toes on the ground. Nice strong line and hold. Min 20 seconds. Increase the amount of time the more confident you get or the more time you have.

Rest 10 Seconds

3.) Twist Plank- Take the principles from Basic Push Up and twist your hips from side to side. Don’t dip all the way to the ground but stretch left to right so you can feel your external obliques (The lower side muscles in your tummy).  Min 20 seconds. Increase the amount of time the more confident you get or the more time you have.

Rest 10 Seconds

4.) Raised Leg Plank- Take the basic principles of the Basic Plank and swap between raising your left leg then your right leg. Keep your weight nice and grounded through the foot touching the ground and the raised leg should be extended out nice and strong.

Rest 10 Seconds

5.) Side Plank- This one is a little more tough balance wise. However once you have it, its great, its probably my favourite now. Keep one palm down on the ground nice and sturdy. Eg, start with left hand palm down then with stability and strength place the left foot on it’s side and stack the right foot on top. Then right arm up in the air, shoulders in line. Then swap over. Another variations of this include; Incorporating a great yoga position is to raise the top foot and leg to a 45* angle to the grounded leg- If you can, grab your big toe of the raised leg with your peace fingers on the extended arm.

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My gal @erinellisx showing us how it’s done in Italy. Looking super strong, toned and fit!

THAT IS IT! There are of course many more variations of plank but this is my favourite sequence and already after a short amount of time my stomach feels leaner and it’s great to do while watching a bit of Netflix!

Follow me on Instagram @angelicasykesuk and on Snap chat “Angelica Sykes”.

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