FITNESS FOCUS: Plank —This fundamental exercise improves posture, help maintain proper neutral spinal alignment, increases core strength and shoulder stability. The Plank is also the foundation for many more Pilates moves. It’s ability to work the entire body makes it one of best exercises to learn and perform on a daily basis.
Start in the Table Top position, knees under hips, hands under shoulders, shoulders back and down, pulling navel to spine leveling out the back. One leg at a time, extend the leg out and curl the toes under placing some of the weight on the balls of your feet.
Moving up from the toes, check your alignment. Legs hip width apart, hips are level, pulling navel to spine, no arch in the back. Press shoulders back and down, lengthening through the crown of the head, gaze is toward the floor. Your body is up on the hands and toes extending strong like a plank of wood.
Hold position for up to 5 breaths (inhaling for 5 counts, exhaling for 5 counts). The more you can engage the core and pull the navel to spine, the more support you will have for your lower back. If you start to lose your proper alignment, sagging or arching in the back, place your knees on the floor briefly and rest, then press back up into plank to complete the position. When you have finished the breaths, lower knees to the floor and press body back into the Prayer Position for rest.
FAITH FOCUS: As we think about freedom on this Independence Day, I think about the freedom we have through Christ. The yoke of slavery to sin has been removed from our shoulders. No longer burdened with this weight on our shoulders, we can be firm-like a plank- with strong shoulders, as we engage our CORE in Christ, breathing in His Holy Spirit to support and stabilize us.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”–Galatians 5:1
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”–2 Corinthians 3:17