When I first signed up at the local gym, I got three free sessions with a personal trainer. Phil showed me the plank. When he was demonstrating it, I thought it looked like an awfully easy exercise. After all, I used to do 600 sit-ups a day in high school and that was only 12 years ago, so I’m sure I haven’t lost any of that core strength since then.
The plank turned out to be another one of those deceptive exercises. It looks like you’re just hanging out on the floor, but you’re actually doing some pretty serious work to keep your body stabilized. In fact, it looked so easy when Phil was demonstrating it because he was in pretty good shape. When I did it, my whole body started shaking after about 15 seconds.
Anyway, I found a good video of someone demonstrating the various techniques. As an added bonus, the demonstrator is a woman on a beach in a bikini – much better looking than Phil (no offense, big guy), and in equally good shape.
I hit the gym for a long overdue upper body workout today.
Upper Body Workout
Decline press, Hammer strength machine – 2 sets, 8 reps/6reps
Wide Grip Chest Press, Hammer strength machine – 2 sets, 8 reps/8reps
Lat pulldowns – 2 sets 12 reps each
Shoulder shrugs w/ dumbells – 2 sets 12 reps each
Tricep extensions, machine – 2 sets 12 reps/8 reps
Reclining dumbell curls – 2 sets 12 reps each
Incline Oblique crunches w/ ball – 12 reps each side
Incline crunches – 12 reps
The astute observer will notice that I did not do any planks today, despite mentioning them. I do plan on adding planks more regularly to my strength sessions, but I could not find any room to spread out today, so I hit the available incline bench instead.