Plank, anyone?

We talk a lot about our knees when we talk about running. Did you know that in order to protect your knees you need to do some leg, hip, and core exercises? Yes, sure you did!

Here are some exercises you should try to do at least twice a week, with three sets of 10 repetitions- it probably wouldn’t even take 30 minutes or so if you just focus and do them. Use dumbbells where appropriate, if you have them but, if not, no big deal!

Squats
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out and keeping your back straight and head up, slowly bend at the hips as if sitting down, allowing some of your weight to shift to your heels. Begin with shallow squats and gradually progress to where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your knees should pass over your feet but not extend beyond your toes. *tip: if you keep your toes up off the floor, you’re more likely to have better form and not extend past your toes

Lunges
Standing straight, bring one foot forward and bend your knee until your upper and lower leg create a 90-degree angle. The knee of the rear leg should be almost touching the floor. Bring the outstretched foot back and switch positions or perform walking lunges. For variety, add backward or sideways lunges.

Step-ups
Standing in front of a stair or bench, step onto that surface with one foot, straightening that leg so that your trail leg is brought up to but not touching the surface, then slowly lower the foot.

Bridges on a stability ball
Lying on your back with your heels on a stability ball, contract your stomach and back muscles to create a “bridge.” In that position, use your hamstrings to roll the ball back toward your body. When proficient, perform with one leg at a time.

Side-lying leg raises
Lying on your side with leg weights on your ankles, lift your upper leg upward as high as possible, pause, and return slowly. Then bend the upper leg slightly and lift the lower leg.

Planks
Lying on the floor and resting your upper body on your forearms, use your abs to lift your body so you are supported by your toes and forearms. Work on holding your front plank for 60 seconds. *tip: if you are in jeopardy of falling to the mat and not holding your plank for the allotted amount of time, just have your bulldog crawl under you and lie down 🙂

Thanks, Georgia, for helping me through this workout today!

3 thoughts on “Plank, anyone?

  1. For me, planks are the toughest part of this strength-training circuit. I’ve never made it past 1-minute planks. (It’s the longest minute ever. Like time slows down or something.) But do ’em and you can tell you’ve done something. This stuff works. I complained about knee pain for, well, forever it seemed like (anyone remember the Barbie tape?). Anyway, started doing these exercises and the pain went quickly away. As Laurie Prather said when I told her this, “Isn’t funny what happens when you follow the rules?”Yes, indeed.

  2. holy plank batman!i did one.  for one minute.  one insanely long minute.  as a matter of fact I think I breached the time-space continuuam somehow.  I think I felt better at mile 12 in nashville.  perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Jennifer was yelling at me to get my butt down.  But I digress…Verdict:  Planks suck.  But then I don’t have a bulldog

  3. Y-E-R-T, you may not have a bulldog but you do have a Jennifer.  she and georgia agree that you must get your butt down!

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