In my Pilates class I always try to include the plank. It is a very powerful exercise that builds endurance in the abdominal muscles, back and stabiliser muscles. It challenges the stability of the spine and shoulder girdle and is a great exercise for athletes, because we need that stability when we run or cycle to keep our torso rock solid as this then enables our arms and legs to do their work to the best of their ability. If your torso, and so spine, is rocking all over the place then you are more likely to get injured.
And generally this exercise makes my clients swear and groan.
In classical Mat Pilates the plank exercise is actually known as The Leg Pull. It has morphed into being known as the plank more recently.
You can see from the picture above which muscles you are working and the aim in most cases is to hold for as long as you can. Maybe start with 15 or 30 seconds and set yourself a goal of working up to 3 minutes. It takes practise, so have patience! However, it is vital you only start holding it for long lengths of time (all relative) if you are sure you’re using your abdominal muscles. If you feel it in your back, then you must stop until you are stronger. Which you will be with practise. Try not to let your bottom come higher than your head or let your back sag and keep length through your spine. And don’t forget to breathe!
By the way the record for holding the plank is 5 hours and 15 minutes held by a 57 year old man called George Hood…Go George!
So how long can you hold yours for then?
Clocks go back tomorrow…Some of us remember, others need constant reminders from our wonderful Social Media world, while our pets ignore the time change and continue to demand feeding and walking at exactly the same hours as the week before.
But why do we have to do this every year?
I love putting the clocks forward to signify Summer has finally arrived but I really don’t enjoy the turning the clock back as Winter sets in, even if it does mean we have an extra hour to play with in the day. Which is very welcome.
We have no choice in the matter though because daylight saving time is used to save energy and make better use of daylight. And it’s used in over 70 countries. I suppose that’s a good enough reason then.
But did you know that Daylight Saving Time has only been used for about 100 years… although apparently the idea was conceived years before. Ancient civilizations are known to have engaged in a practice similar to modern DST where they would adjust their daily schedules to the Sun’s schedule.
Well I never.
Roll on Summer.
That is all.
It is a superfood after all. I have tried to eat/drink it. It looks like green powder paint, makes me gag, turns my tongue green and I’m sure my eyeballs too. Somebody please tell me a palatable way of ingesting it. I’ve tried it in a smoothie, in juice, in a Nutribullet fruit or veg muxup and apart from turning whatever it is mixed with into a dark shit green – which doesn’t help on a visual level – it is truly vile.
Is it worth it?
According to Rich Roll in his wonderful book ‘The Plantpower Way’ it is ‘one of the most concentrated food sources on the planet…Spirulina is rich in a wide variety of vitamins, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, and studies have established a strong correlation between spirulina intake and enhanced endurance, as well as expedited recovery induced by exercise stress.’
Of course that’s why I need to take it! And I am a bit in love with Rich Roll too…who just happens to be one of America’s most admired endurance athletes who believes totally in a plant-based diet.
Okay then, I’ll give it another go.
Maybe in tablet form?
I like pink.
And it had better make me run longer.
So how do you take it?
Nike, Adidas, Sweaty Betty, Ronhill, Lidl, Oxfam…
What kit do you buy to wear in the gym, or run in? Where do you buy it? What makes you buy it? Colour? Style? Price?
I am overwhelmed with the amount of running kit on offer these days. We are spoilt for choice.
But now you can buy kit anywhere and pink stuff too!
GAP, Primark, Hennes, you name it, there’s lycra, hoodies, multicoloured socks, fluorescent pink bras and all things running.
I don’t have a favourite brand. But I do like snazzy kit. And pink.
Supercharged chocolates – Booja Booja (vegan, organic and pink too…well, the box is…)
Need a fix? A legal high? I’ve found it! Just one of these delicious raw chocolates and you will fly. And they taste divine. More than divine. I couldn’t even begin to contemplate eating any other chocolate now. Except maybe Green & Blacks which I am rather partial to – the dark chocolate of Booja-Booja, is mouth-meltingly bittery sweet and oozes moreish raw chocolateyness.
These chocolates make my taste buds jump to attention and dance.
Those are the best words I can find to describe this fix.
Honestly, it’s true.
I have written several blogs over the years. And failed. I got bored with myself – stopped writing. So now I have decided to have another go with the aim of keeping myself entertained this time and picking up a few regular readers in the process.
How do you encourage people to read your blog though?
What’s the secret?
“Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.” Pat Conroy, My Reading Life
“Don’t procrastinate. If you want to blog, then blog.” Fritz Chery
“Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant.” Sufia Tippu
So there you have it. Now I know what I’m thinking…