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If You Can’t Hold This Pose For 50 Seconds, You Might Be Prone To Serious Health Problems

If You Can’t Hold This Pose For 50 Seconds, You Might Be Prone To Serious Health Problems

Are you looking for a specific exercise that will provide you with immense fitness and medical benefits? Are you looking for the most efficient exercise to shred your abs, strengthen your core, and improve your posture? If so, the plank exercise is right for you.

Most people think of our abdominal muscles when we discuss our core. These muscles are a significant component, but there are also other muscles that serve an integral role in the strength of our core. The muscles in our lower back, glutes, and hips play an important role to our core as well. Knowing this, we should all embrace the plank exercise because, if you can’t hold this pose for at least 50 seconds, then you might be prone to some serious health problems.[1]

What is the plank exercise?

Before we discuss some of these health concerns, let’s first take a look at what exactly the plank is. Proper form is important for maximizing this exercise. Learning how to perform the plank will help you improve your core, glutes, hamstrings, balance, posture, and overall fitness.

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To start a plank, enter the push-up position and hold your body off the ground. You should form and hold a straight line and follow the following steps:[2]

  • Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders; place wrists in line with your elbows.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles, squeeze your glutes and thighs (don’t forget to breath normally).
  • Hold the plank in the proper form. Beginners should shoot for 20-30 seconds; however, your goal should be at least 50 seconds.
  • Avoid dropping your head, shoulders, or hips.

    A weak core will lead to poor posture.

    Poor posture is a telltale sign of a weak core. You have all seen people with poor posture and there are a multitude of factors that can lead to this. Some of these factors include: stress at home, stress at work, slouching at a desk, and even staring down at your phone.

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    Our lower back and abdominal muscles assist us in stabilizing our spine. If our muscles are weak, this will cause us to slouch. Here are some quick tips to improve your posture:

    • Perform the plank exercise daily.
    • Stand up straight.
    • Pull your head back and up.
    • Move your cellphone to eye level.
    • Wear a posture belt.

    Lower back pain is a telltale sign of a weak core.

    A sure sign of weakness in our core is lower back pain. The curvature of our lumbar spine is negatively affected with a weak core. Lower back pain is one of our most common sources of pain.[3]

    Failure to improve your core can lead to serious health conditions. Here are a few tips to strengthen your core and lower back: exercise (such as the dynamic lumbar stabilization exercise), improve your posture, sleep in an optimal position, improve your flexibility, and of course, perform the plank exercise.

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    Poor balance is a sign that you may have a weak core.

    If your core muscles are weak, then how do you expect them to stabilize your body? Poor balance is not easy to identify. How we maintain our balance is a function of our senses along with coordinated movement from different areas of our body.[4]

    Here is a quick option for a balance test. Use the following steps and test your balance:[5]

    • Step 1: Extend one leg forward.
    • Step 2: Extend the same leg sideways.
    • Step 3: Extend the same leg backwards.
    • Step 4: Flex the same knee at a 90-degree angle.

    The inability to hollow your stomach is a sign of a weak core.

    An easy sign of a weak core is the inability to perform the stomach hollowing test. When you conduct this exercise, the intent is for your stomach to cave inwards when your abdomen contracts. You do this by taking a natural breath, pulling your abs in toward your spine, and holding it. If you lack the ability to do this, then you possess a weak core. See the image below for a visual representation of this exercise.

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      Overall weakness in your core muscles will lead to serious health conditions if not properly rectified. One guaranteed exercise that will improve every condition discussed in this article is the plank exercise. The benefits of performing the plank exercise are amazing. Not only will you strengthen your core, but you will also strengthen your lower back and upper body, improve your chances of avoiding injury, significantly improve your posture, and shred your abs!

      Most importantly, planks can be done anywhere. You do not need a gym membership, a personal trainer, or any equipment. Heck, do your planks naked if you want! Two things will happen when you embrace the plank – your fitness will improve and so will your overall health.

      So, what are you waiting for? Drop right now and start planking!

      Featured photo credit: Gymjunkies.com via gymjunkies.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Dr. Jamie Schwandt

      Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

      Creative Brain Test: 10 Best Ways To Test Your Creative Intelligence How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills for a Sharper Mind 10 Brain Training Hacks to Increase Your IQ, Focus and Creativity

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      Last Updated on August 21, 2018

      30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

      30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

      Ah, camping. The great outdoors, the campfires, the food you’d never eat in civilised society: it’s a wonderful experience.

      That said, things can get a little bit tricky when we are left to the mercy of Mother Nature. Here are 30 fantastic camping hacks you can use to make your camping experience as wonderful as possible!

       1. Use sage to repel mosquitoes.

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        photoshelter.com

        Place some sage in your campfire and the smell is sure to ward off any pesky mosquitos.

        2. Liquid soap + cotton balls = no ticks.

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          crateandbarrel.com

          If you or one of your fellow campers is having trouble with a tick, place the soap-soaked cotton on the tick for 20 seconds. The tick will eventually stop chewing and will come away with the cotton ball. If the tick was attached for a lengthy amount of time you may want to consider keeping it in a container so that you can test it for Lyme disease later.

          3. Use an acorn cap as a whistle if you get lost.

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            smallhomebigstart.com

            It’s remarkably easy to get lost whilst camping. Here’s a full tutorial on how you can transform an acorn into a whistle!

            4. Corn chips for kindling!

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              Doritos are a great way to start a fire, just be careful!

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              5. Use the rest of the chips for nachos.

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                buzzfeed.com

                Nachos are easy to pack, light and simple to make. Plus they’re incredibly tasty.

                6. Use compact, microfibre towels!

                Compact-Towels
                  rei.com

                  These towels are incredibly easy to store and dry within an hour of use. Buy them here.

                  7. Wrap duct-tape around your water bottle for emergencies.

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                    briangreen.net

                    You never know when you might need some.

                    8. Make lamps out of jars and solar disks.

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                      campwander.com

                      Get all the info you need here.

                      9. Sangria!

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                        gastfamilyrecipes.blogspot.co.uk

                        We know what’s really important. How to here!

                        10. One water bottle will hold eight eggs.

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                          cookiecrumbsandsawdust.blogspot

                          By keeping all your eggs in a bottle you save time and hassle. Plus, no need to carry extra bowls or a whisk!

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                          11. Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil is a surprisingly good mosquito repellent.

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                            buzzfeed.com

                            Keep the bugs and the bug repellent smell at bay.

                            12. DIY shower.

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                              instructables.com

                              All you need is a watering can and a large jug. Here’s the full instructions.

                              13. Keep sandpaper handy to light matches.

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                                craftaholicsanonymous.net

                                Glueing some sandpaper to the lid of a tupperware box where you can also store matches is a foolproof plan.

                                14. Make s’moreos easily.

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                                  snackhacks.org

                                  15. MarshJell-o shots.

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                                    tablespoon.com

                                    Learn how to make these delicious things here!

                                    16. Or dip those marshmallows in Bailey’s. 
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                                      Toast the marshmallow first and then dip it in Bailey’s.

                                      17. Turn a bottle into a spoon.

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                                        buzzfeed.com

                                        It’s that easy!

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                                        18. Grits repel ants.

                                        1b3c626ef359f2d19775831415b1d129
                                          sleepychef.com

                                          Just sprinkle grits wherever you see ants.

                                          19. Deodorant can be used to combat itchiness.

                                          enhanced-buzz-16165-1396981994-13
                                            wikihow.com

                                            20. Wrap your meat in cabbage to stop it from burning.

                                            enhanced-buzz-17457-1397055776-13
                                              onesweetappetite.com

                                              That’s not an innuendo, it really will! The moistness in the cabbage creates the perfect barrier.

                                              21. Foam noodles will stop any injuries.

                                              enhanced-buzz-17677-1396993405-8
                                                andybaird.com

                                                For any fellow clumsy people, you know how possible it is to smack your head and cause serious injury. Placing a foam noodle on the awning strut narrows down at least one accident waiting to happen.

                                                22. Carry some essentials in a small tin with you at all times.

                                                enhanced-buzz-20957-1397057774-5
                                                  fieldandstream.com

                                                  You never know what you’ll need and when.

                                                  23. Take toothpaste dots instead of a whole tube.

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                                                    ruggedthuglife.com

                                                    Let the drops dry out over 3 days, add a little baking soda and put them in a resealable bag.

                                                    24. Use a stick to secure your tent.

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                                                      survivormedic.com

                                                      By placing a stick in the main centre line you ensure the pressure is even throughout, which will stop the grommets being pulled out.

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                                                      25. Vacuum seal your food before you leave.

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                                                        livingonalatte.com

                                                        26. Popcorn on the campfire.

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                                                          kookyculinary.com

                                                          Popcorn that you can place on the stove at home can also be popped over a campfire. You can also make your own using this tutorial.

                                                          27. You can even make bacon and eggs over it.

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                                                            realfamilycamping.blogspot.co.uk

                                                            That’s right! Full instructions here.

                                                            28. Keep your toiletries handy.

                                                            shower-caddy
                                                              myshowerline.com

                                                              Buy this magnificent contraption here.

                                                              29. Compact, unbreakable cups!

                                                              silicone-cups
                                                                reuseit.com

                                                                Get them while you can!

                                                                30. Tic-Tac boxes are great for storing ingredients.

                                                                spices-tic-tac
                                                                  seattlesundries.com

                                                                  With these 30 camping tips and tricks, you can work DIY magic into nearly every aspect of camping, and make your next camping trip a comfortable, easy blast. Good luck!

                                                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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