Every Halloween I invariably find myself with about two hours and not a lot of money to dream up an awesome costume. Coming up with a costume idea at the last minute can be hard, but inspiration is everywhere.
Are you in the same boat? Never fear, fellow procrastinator. I have made an art form out of finding great last minute Halloween costume ideas.
These costumes require only a basic set of crafting skills, and don’t require much time or money – all of them can be completed with less than $50 and in less than 2 hours.
This costume idea is a winner every time. If you have a cardboard box, some scissors and duct tape, you have the basics covered. Simply add some things you have laying around for gears and gadgets and glue them to the box. Old Cd’s, soda caps, and tin foil can add a lot of interest to an otherwise basic costume.
What is more mystical and magical than a unicorn? Grab a paper cone, some string, or a headband and glue them together to create your horn. Dress in colorful pastel colors, or all white, and add a realistic tail with some paper streamers pinned together. You can gather all you need at a local dollar store.
3. Cookie Monster.
If you’re a junk food addict, you may already have the necessities for this costume. A blue fuzzy sweatshirt, a package of chocolate chip cookies and some glue are all you need. Bonus – you can take an extra bag of cookies with you and eat them all night for realism.
Not only is this costume iconic for Halloween, but it is incredibly easy to do! A bit of black waterproof eyeliner to draw on whiskers and a cute nose, along with an all black outfit and a cat ear headband to complete the look. This costume will keep you purring all night long.
All you need is an entirely black ensemble (preferably form fitting), and a black ski mask to complement it. For bonus points, add some costume jewelry hanging half out of your pocket to show off your stolen goods.
Get ready to grunge it up with this costume idea. Put on a white sleeveless t-shirt, a pair of old jeans, and a bandana. Have a rag hanging out of your back pocket, place a grease stain on your cheek (shoe polish or makeup) and carry a wrench in your hand to finish the look.
7. Retro 80’s.
Raid your mom’s closet for some leg warmers and a shirt with shoulder pads. Bright neon was the rage then, so be sure to choose vibrant colors. Don’t forget big hair.
Do you have a striped shirt and black pants? What about some suspenders? Or a beret? These are the basics for this ensemble. Add some white costume makeup with some black eyeliner and you’re good to go. This costume also allows you to not talk to anyone you don’t want to!
9. Katniss Everdeen.
Want to win the Hunger Games? If you have long brown hair you’re halfway there. Braid it on the side, and dress in brown cargo pants, a black shirt and jacket, with combat boots. Add a backpack or a toy bow and arrow for props.
10. Rosie the Riveter.
Get yourself a red bandana, a shirt with rolled up sleeves, and a tube of bright red lipstick for this gorgeous throwback costume.
11. Doll (or Amidala).
Put your hair up, and apply lipstick to the center of your top and bottom lip only. Add bright blush to your cheeks. A frilly or lacy dress will complete the look.
Do you have a clear umbrella? If so, you can add paper streamers to the edges with a bit of tape or glue and hold it above your head. Wear all white or light blue and hold your umbrella above you.
It’s never been cooler to be a nerd. Break out the school supplies and add some white tape to the center of a pair of black glasses and you’re all set.
14. Men in Black.
If you have a white shirt, black tie, black pants, and jacket you have the basics covered. Add a pair of cool sunglasses and forget about smiling, since you’re keeping an eye out for rule-breaking aliens.
Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.
Why is it important to train up our core strength?
There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.
This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.
Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.
In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.
One Exercise, multiple benefits
There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.
By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.
When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.
Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.
In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.
What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.
What will happen when you start doing planks every day
1. You’ll improve core definition and performance:
Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:
Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.
2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column
Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.
Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.
3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism
Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).
4. You’ll significantly improve your posture
Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .
A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.
A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.
On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.
5. You’ll improve overall balance
Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!- but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.
6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before
Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.
7. You’ll witness mental benefits
Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.
How to hold a plank position
Get into pushup position on the floor.
Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
Hold the position for as long as you can.
Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.
Watch the video if you have any doubt!
Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:
How to improve your plank time gradually
Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.
Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.
Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?
You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:
After prolapse surgery
Pelvic pain conditions
Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.