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The Plank

Let’s get to the core of it. Pun intended. The core refers to the major muscles of the abdomen and the lower/mid back. The major muscles of the abdomen refer to four different muscles; external abdominal oblique; internal abdominal oblique, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominus. The external abdominal obliques are located on the front and side of the abdomen. The internal obliques are located under the external obliques, in the opposite direction. The rectus abdominis or affectionately referred to as the “Six Pack,” is located along the front of the abdomen. The transverse abdominis is located under the obliques. The transverse abdominis is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and it wraps around your spine to not only protect it, but also to stabilize it.

Since the days of body suits and leggings, which are oddly enough coming back, we have been trying to crunch our way to six pack abs. We may not be able to stop the body suits and leggings from their glorious return, but, we can do something about those age old exercises. It’s time we let some more functional, innovative exercises have the spot light; including the plank. For the first part of this multi-part Plank Series, let’s start with two variations of the basic plank.

Bent Knee (The decaffeinated version)

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Beth of Beth’s Bootcamp Demonstrates a Bent Knee Plank

While lying face down on the ground, prop your elbows up directly underneath your shoulders. This properly stacks and supports your joints. Lift your body up off the ground so that you are balanced on your elbows and knees. While focusing at the ground just above and between your hands, focus on drawing your belly button into your spine, as if you are bracing your abdominals against a punch. After 10 seconds, lower yourself back to the floor. Wait a moment and then repeat. Try this 5 times.

Regular (The caffeinated version)

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Beth of Beth’s Bootcamp Demonstrates a Regular Plank

While lying face down on the ground, prop your elbows up directly underneath your shoulders. This properly stacks and supports your joints. Then repeat after me. Feet. Legs. Lift. This mantra will become second nature. Feet; bring your toes up so you are in a position for the toes to support you in addition to your elbows. Legs; straighten your legs at the knees. Lift; lift your body up off the ground so that you are balanced on your elbows and toes (Remember ‘feet’ from that mantra!) While focusing at the ground just above and between your hands, focus on drawing your belly button into your spine, as if you are bracing your abdominals against a punch. After 10 seconds, lower yourself back to the floor. Wait a moment and then repeat. Try this 5 times.

For dads and moms that need to multitask, this is also a great exercise to do with your baby. With your bundle of motivation on his or her back, get into your decaffeinated or caffeinated plank position, with his or her feet between your arms. For each of your 10 second planks you can talk or sing to him or her! See how fast those planks go by!

As ACE Pro Jonathan Ross, says “Static planks are great, but they shouldn’t be considered a goal – they are a starting point.” So make sure to check back for the next part in this multi-part plank series!

[Tweet “The Plank via @bcherryfit #TrainingTips”]

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About Ajia Cherry

Ajia (Asia) Cherry is a cancer survivor, a daughter, a wife, an equestrian and an up and coming successful American Council on Exercise, (ACE,) Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness trainer. Her certifications, continuing education, and personal experience put her on the cutting edge of the fitness industry. She is recognized by her peers in the health and fitness industry as highly motivated; and with a last name like Cherry, you can't help but remember to eat all your fruits and vegetables!

Ajia holds two degrees; one in Computer Science and another in Criminal Justice with a focus on corrections. Her superb ability to train stems from personal experience with overcoming cancer and various equestrian related injuries. She has obtained advanced certifications and specializations such as an Orthopedic Exercise Specialist and Senior Fitness Specialist with a focus on Pre & Post Natal Exercise. Ajia earned theses certifications though ACE. She is also IDEA Fitness Personal Trainer recognized. Ajia also contributes content and teaches as a fitness trainer for both Goshorn Chiropractic Wellness Center's Tough Mudder Team and ROC City Wellness.

Her certifications, education, and personal experience provide the platform for her ongoing quest to improve the life of one individual at a time.

Whether she is working with CEO's, Professional Equestrian Athletes, or the person looking to transition to an independent lifestyle, Ajia's passion is to educate, inspire and motivate, and train others to achieve their most FIT lives ever by maintaining their fitness goals. As the founder of Functional Innovative Training, or affectionately known as FIT, she thrives on using her knowledge and skills when training clients and professional equestrian athletes and when designing small group training classes both at local parks and ROC City Wellness. FIT's Ajia Cherry is Rochester's first Health Coach & Personal Fitness Trainer to offer Playouts, NOT workouts, where we don't get FIT, we get Cherry FIT.

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