Adequate pantry space is an issue that sometimes frustrates many home cooks. And if you don’t have enough space to hold all your supplies, your pantry can sometimes get disorganized and you may not always find the ingredients you need on hand when you’re about to cook.
Recently, I was in a friend’s kitchen and I was inspired by her own open pantry organization. Because of limited space, she had turned an Ikea Expedit shelf into extra pantry storage. She had artfully organized her canning surplus, large pots and pans, and more. It was a simple, attractive, and affordable solution! From there, I started to think of other ways that people who are low on kitchen storage could maximize their space. Prepare to expand your storeroom with these great ideas.
1. The Magic of Pull-out Racks
Installing pull-out racks in nooks and crannies is a great way to get more storage. If there is a narrow space between a wall and an appliance or furniture, mount a rail on the wall where you can install a pull-out shelf for canned goods or condiments. Cans and bottles tend to take up a lot of space and storing them in unusual places is a clever way to make your pantry space-efficient.
Maximize a cubby hole’s vertical space by adding rails to the inside walls and using old trays that you can pull in and out of the shelf.
If you think that attaching rails is too much work, you can simply place baskets inside cabinets. These baskets keep your supplies organized and they’re easy to pull out as well!
2. Space-saving Wall Additions
Your storage spaces don’t have to stay on a single side of the room. Survey the area and look for walls where you can mount cabinets and shelves. Just make sure that the wall area you are aiming to use is accessible. Place it on a higher spot if you want it out of reach of your kids.
If you still have some space above your wall cabinets, stack shelves atop them as well. When you build up storage space, you’re making use of all the available surfaces you have in your pantry! Use open shelving as much as possible to utilize even the smallest of spaces, but make sure that all your supplies are organized.
Another clever wall addition is recessed wall shelves. Unlike wall-mounted shelves, these storage spaces are less of an obstruction in a kitchen’s open space. If you want to give your pantry a stylish touch, display clear wine glasses or water goblets and highlight them with LED pin lights.
3. A New Purpose for Shelf Tops
Store rarely used items in places you wouldn’t normally access on regular days. The shelf top is a good place where you can keep extra utensils or plates, or your stash of baking supplies.
No matter how high your cupboard is, you can always find a use for the top. If this area is easily noticeable, display beautiful porcelain pitchers or nice-looking containers like mason jars when storing ingredients to add value to your home design.
4. A Way Out of a Tight Corner
Corners are often the most overlooked spaces in any home. And while they can be great areas to display home décor, they are even more remarkable when used efficiently.
Take your organizing skills a notch higher by occupying these angular spots with corner cupboards. These storage spaces also lessen the awkward sight of extra wall space when cabinets are shorter than the wall’s length.
You can also use other available areas in your home like the cupboard under the stairs. Evaluate if the items you’re keeping in it can be disposed of or given away, then utilize it as extra space for food storage. Install shelves in it, or place an old rolling kitchen tray stocked with goods inside the cupboard!
5. Hooked and Organized Cupboard Doors
Hooks on doors make wonders. Commonly done on bedroom doors, this space-saving tactic can be used to help you organize and hang anything on your cupboard door, from tongs and can openers to small pans and chopping boards. By utilizing the back of cabinet doors, you can minimize unsightly kitchen clutter, at the same time make the most of your pantry space.
With any of these space-saving ideas, you can start making room for more kitchen items in the future. Don’t be afraid to think up of clever ideas to make the most of your pantry space!
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.