A while back I read this excellent article on Lorieb’s blog explaining the many benefits to be gained by doing planks. And because I’m a copycat, I attempted a plank at the first opportunity. Wow… I made it about 5 seconds. I probably could have gone longer, but I was stunned by how hard it was, so I collapsed and spent a few minutes lying on the floor feeling like a slug. And then I realized, this is the perfect exercise for me.
I’m probably the least athletic (otherwise healthy) person I know. From time to time I make an attempt to exercise, but I always fail. Usually I fail because I bite off more than I can chew. “I’ll do an hour on the treadmill every day!”, she said. And that never works. So here’s what I decided to do: twice a day, for 60 seconds, I’ll do a plank. Two minutes a day, during which I don’t have to move at all. Surely even I can keep up with THAT exercise plan.
So I set an alarm on my phone to remind me, twice a day, to do my plank. My phone is responsible for nagging me about things I need to do, so I’m already in the habit of obeying when it gives me orders. Day one…did my two planks, no problem. It was really hard, but I made it. Oh, did I mention I’m doing the very easiest of all the planks? I call them remedial planks. Day two… whoa! Day two is much harder! I guess two minutes a day can do something, after all.
I’ve been at this for a couple of weeks now, and most of it has been uneventful. I’ve found that I can successfully maintain my plank while laughing (because the dog likes to throw tennis balls at me while I’m on the floor), spitting and cussing (because the cat dared to walk under my face), and yelling (“hon, can you do me a favor?!” “just a minute!” “are you made at me?!” “no!” “you sound mad”). And a few days ago I found that the remedial planks were getting a little bit easy, so I started doing part of each plank at the next level up. As long as my phone keeps telling me to, I’ll keep this up. You should give it a try.