It’s Fitness Friday! In last week’s post, we discussed the TVA muscle and its crucial role in stabilizing our core. This week we’re going to discuss one of the more popular core exercises—the plank. The plank, which is also known as a front hold, a hover, or the top of a push-up position, is a static isometric core strengthening exercise which also helps to strengthen the back and shoulders. “Isometric” means that it is a type of muscular contraction in which the muscle is stimulated to generate tension, but little or no movement occurs. Planks are a great way to begin strengthening the core. Because it is a static exercise, there is no other movement involved so it is a bit easier to achieve and maintain good form throughout the exercise.
1) Either open your Bible to the following verse, write this verse on a piece of paper, or look this verse up on your Bible app on your phone or other small mobile device:
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!”—Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
2) Now, lie face down on a mat (or just your carpet) resting on your forearms, palms flat on the floor with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Place the Bible verse between your hands.
3) Next, push off the floor, raising onto your toes, resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from your head to your heels. Tilt your pelvis and engage (contract) your abdominal muscles so that your “booty” is neither sticking up into the air nor sagging causing a sway in your back. Keep your gaze on your Bible verse.
4) Hold for 20 to 60 seconds. As you begin to feel your muscles shake and your mind begins to cry out, “I can’t do this!” read Isaiah 26:3 out loud. Know that while you will not be able to hold your body in this position forever, our mighty God WILL keep you in perfect peace as your mind remains fixed on Him and you trust in Him. And I’m quite sure you will last a few more seconds in this position than you would have if you hadn’t fixed your eyes and heart on Him.
5) Repeat 3-5 times.
Let me know how it goes by commenting below. And trust me when I tell you, I know it might sound a little kooky to be reciting Bible verses while we’re exercising, but truly God wants all of us—body, mind, heart and soul—even while we are working out.