How to do a Plank: Proper Plank Form

Learn How to do a Plank With Proper Form Using This Summary of the Most Important Technique Tips

how to do a plank: proper plank form (female model)

Other than the elbows placement being a little narrow, this is an excellent visual example of proper plank form. Photo credit goes to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/livingfitnessuk/8949005525

The plank is a fairly straightforward exercise, but a lot of people don’t perform it properly because they’ve never been taught how. You can think of the plank as creating an arch with your body. That is, you’re creating a strong, stable, structure with your body that is capable of supporting a large load.

Now, I’ve already created a very in-depth, thorough guide to proper plank form and posted it here: The Right Way to do the Plank Exercise. But I also know that some of my readers have requested shorter (and simpler) training instructions. So, I’ve created this short and sweet guide on how to do a plank.

Only the basics here, folks, but it should be enough to get you started.

How to do a Plank: Video Summary


Continue reading How to do a Plank: Proper Plank Form

33 Things The Best Athletes Do That You Probably Don’t

trio of female runners

Are you going to be a winner or a loser? Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathaninsandiego/15229173247

There are two kinds of people in the world of fitness and athletics: those who succeed and those who don’t, the winners and losers, the achievers and the wannabes. And you can usually spot them from a mile away. Here are some hints on how to tell the difference…

  1. They workout. We train.
  2. They do things like drink red wine and eat dark chocolate to stay in shape. We don’t believe in fairy tales.
  3. They get about 6 hours of sleep every night if they’re lucky. We get at least 8 hours because we manage our time.
  4. They try to get a good workout in once in awhile, or when they feel like it, when it’s convenient, when it’s sunny, blah blah blah. We do our work daily.
  5. They give up when things get hard. When things get hard, we get started.
  6. They get fast food or some other junk after a hard workout. We get fuel fast after a hard session.
  7. They drink alcohol. We drink coffee or tea.
  8. They have a little coffee to go with their sugar and cream. We take our coffee black.
  9. They try hard for a few days or weeks. We work hard enough for as long as it takes.
  10. They go out and party on the weekends. We stay in and achieve our goals.
  11. They buy into weight loss scams to help them lose weight. We don’t even have to worry about body composition.
  12. They live for the weekend or their next vacation. We live for the present and don’t feel the need to escape our daily lives.
  13. They “wing it” and never get anywhere. We plan, execute, and adjust as necessary.
  14. They hate exercise. We love what we do and we don’t even call it exercise.
  15. They worry about what they’re eating. We don’t have to.
  16. They look for quick-fixes. We look for sustainable results.
  17. They hit the snooze button over and over again and eventually drag themselves out of bed. We don’t need to.
  18. They take off-days or “cheat days” when they need a break. We’re always training, always recovering.
  19. They eat food-like substances most of the time (e.g. fast food, junk food, processed food, etc.). We eat real food most of the time.
  20. They drink sodas, juices, mocha-chinos and energy drinks. We drink water – just water.
  21. They think that working up a sweat and burning some calories is the sign of a successful workout. We think progress is a sign of a successful training session.
  22. They rarely even get the basics covered. We know that the details matter.
  23. They are always yo-yoing with their diet and workout program. We are always sticking with our plan.
  24. They chase after physique goals like getting abs or slimming/toning/etc. We chase after performance goals and get the looks to go with them.
  25. They buy into the latest fads, trends, and crazes. We stick with what works – what’s always worked.
  26. They give up at the slightest hint of failure. We pick ourselves up again and again.
  27. They fixate on unimportant details. We look at the big picture.
  28. They procrastinate. We started years ago and we’re still going.
  29. They go easy. We go hard.
  30. They accept defeat. We adapt.
  31. They seek comfort. We seek out the uncomfortable.
  32. They do whatever is easiest. We do whatever is best.
  33. They can’t win. We can’t lose.

And in the end, we always win.

So, yes, there is a big difference between the achievers and the wannabes, and it’s really quite simple. It all comes down to the choices we make. And the good news is that anyone can choose to improve themselves starting right now. So, who are you going to choose to be – starting today?

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P.P.S. Hat tip goes to ETP.

3 Tips to Maximize The Health Benefits of Red Wine

This morning, I saw a news headline that read, “A glass of red wine is the equivalent to an hour at the gym, says new study – New research reveals skipping the gym in favour of the pub is ok.” (Source here)

red wine glass
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leshaines123/9031746040

Really? Well, then I’m going to head to my nearest liquor store right now. And it’s a good thing I live in the great state of New Hampshire, where we have no sales tax because I’ll be stocking up like it’s the end of the world.

But wait, the whole thing about drinking red wine being the equivalent to an hour at the gym actually sounds too good to be true, and SURPRISE – it is!

But judging by the number of times this misleading article has been shared, this gives me reason for concern! Those who actually buy into this nonsense and believe that drinking a glass of red wine is equivalent to an hour at the gym certainly haven’t spend an hour training with me at any gym – or anyone else who knows what they’re doing for that matter.

I mean, by that rationale, saying that “a glass of red wine is equivalent to an hour at the gym because it has health benefits” is like saying that “sitting on your butt is a great way to lose weight because it burns calories.”

Keep dreaming, people.

As it turns out, the author of that article either a) misinterpreted the findings of this “new study,” which was actually published three years ago, and/or b) drew some outlandish conclusions from the results of the study, which unfortunately, is standard practice in most health-related journalism.

Note: there’s another possible scenario here. It’s the editor’s fault!

So, let’s get to the bottom of this. Here’s a link to the actual study: Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats.

You can read the abstract to get the gist of what actually happened, or even the whole paper if you’d like. But let me summarize what the researchers did and what they actually found.
Continue reading 3 Tips to Maximize The Health Benefits of Red Wine

You Can Lead a Horse to the Gym, But You Can’t Make Him Workout

lean woman

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lalonsorm/14066363476

As a fitness coach, there’s only so much I can do to help my clients. I can tell them what to do and why it’s important. I can provide an effective plan and strategy that will help them achieve their goals. I can help them narrow down the most important things to focus on. I can help them work through difficult issues that could be hindering them. I can help elicit temporary feelings of motivation. I can help them learn how to be their own coach. And there are many other things that a coach, teacher, or trainer can do to help their clients.

Unfortunately, I can’t do the work for them. No doubt you’ve heard the saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Well, that metaphor is true for a lot of things, and the pursuit of physical fitness is one of them.
Continue reading You Can Lead a Horse to the Gym, But You Can’t Make Him Workout

We’re going to carry big rocks up and down one of the White Mountains. You in?

hikers

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/doug88888/4138251783

Note: I’m looking for men to carry big rocks up and down one of the White Mountains in New Hampshire for a day hike this summer. Will you join us – in person, or in spirit?

I am blessed to live in the great state of New Hampshire, where our state motto is “Live Free or Die.” This is indisputably one of the best places to live in the USA. And I’ve grown to love it these past 20 years that I’ve been here.

One of the great things about living here is that we’re just a hop, skip, and a throw away from the majestic White Mountains, which can provide a lifetime of great hiking, and other outdoor adventures.

And this summer, I’ll be leading a hike, of sorts, up the great Mount Moosilauke, which coincidentally, I climbed earlier this summer with some friends who thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail last year.

Now, Moosilauke is not a very tall mountain (4802′), but it is still quite a challenge to climb. I’m not sure what it’s official classification is, but “difficult” sounds about right. In fact, after finishing Mt. Moosilauke, my friends told me that it was the most difficult part of the Appalachian Trail they’d encountered since leaving Georgia (i.e., the most technical and challenging hiking they’d done in nearly 2,000 miles). So, it’s certainly no walk in the park.

And this summer, I’m going to climb it again with some of my friends. Except we’re going to carry big rocks up and down it. I sent some of my buddies these instructions via email last week…

Continue reading We’re going to carry big rocks up and down one of the White Mountains. You in?

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