>> Saturday, February 18, 2012
I read something somewhere recently. (Yeah, I know... that was nice and specific. Sorry.) I THINK it was in Runners World or Triathlete Magazine, but I can't remember exactly where. (It might have even been online on a "reputable" website.) It basically said this:
To assess core strength for endurance athletes, try this:
- Start in a plank position. Hold that for 3 long breaths.
- Tip up into a right-side plank. Hold that for 3 long breaths.
- Rotate back down to a normal plank position. Hold that for 3 long breaths.
- Tip up on the other side into a left-side plank. Hold that for 3 long breaths.
- Rotate back down and keep repeating this sequence.
Keep doing this until it becomes too hard. If you can do this for 9 or 10 minutes, your core is in good shape. If you can't do it for that long, you may need to work on strengthening your core.
Wait... WHAT?! 9 or 10 minutes?!?!?! That seemed like a long time! So I had to try it.
I threw my watch off in front of me, hit the timer, and started. I found my "3 long breaths" seemed pretty quick, so I decided to switch to every 5 breaths instead. That ended up being 12-15 seconds in each position.
I found these 2 lovely photos to illustrate what I did. First I started in the "normal" plank position...
At 3:00, I felt fine.
At 5:00, I felt like I could make it to 10:00.
At 8:00, I made sure my form was OK. My ass wasn't too high - it was alright.
At 10:00, sweat was forming on my forehead (it was a cold studio, and I wasn't wearing much). And the last few seconds of each hold was starting to hurt!
At 13:00, I told myself that if I could get to 15:00, I'd stop for 2 reasons: (1) I was getting bored, and (2) my elbow was getting sore from tipping back and forth.
At 15:00, I stopped. Holy hell. 15 minutes straight of planking.
My "abs" weren't sore the next day, but odd parts of my "core" were. If you were to draw a line down angling to the outside of my body from my nipples, I was sore THERE - on top of my ribs. Odd. But it was a good workout to mix things up a little.
My left elbow got a nasty rug burn on it from tipping up and down so many times:
About an hour after the workout
24 hours after the workout
48 hours after the workout