The Most Underrated Ab Exercise

PLANKS.

It may not look like much, but the Plank can’t be beat for building a strong core from the inside out.

MASTER THE PLANK

It’s essential to master the basic front plank before moving on to more advanced variations, because it teaches the foundational cues that make all planking movements effective. And when done consistently and correctly, it will—not can, will—confer mega strength benefits.

Start off by getting into a basic plank position: propped on your forearms, elbows in line with your shoulders, legs shoulder-width apart, and your toes planted firmly.

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The most important element of a good plank is a neutral spine or “flat” back. The most common problem I see in planks is a sinking low back, but the second-most common problem is an arched back with the hips in the air. To keep a neutral spine, imagine pulling your belly button back towards your spine.

Another element of a good plank is proper shoulder position. Be careful not to shrug the shoulders up toward your ears. The final element is head position. Do your best to keep your head neutral, like it is when you stand straight and stare forward. Resist the urge to crane your neck up or let your head droop down towards the floor.

If you do it right, your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. If this isn’t easy, good. Planks are not supposed to be easy. 🙂

Once you’ve mastered the basic plank, you can move onto some fun variations!

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LIKE A BIRD

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In Honor of Glute Day, here’s one of my favorite stretches- Pigeon Pose.

This yoga pose opens up your hips by stretching the hip rotators (booty area) AND hip flexors (the long muscles that run along the front of your thighs & pelvis). I try to do this stretch before every workout because my hips are often tight. I’m talking everyday tight.

So, what causes tight hips?

First, modern life requires sitting all day, which keeps your hips from the rotation, flexion, and extension they need to remain agile. Second, common sports such as running and cycling—and even an everyday activity like walking—demand hip strength but not flexibility. The third culprit is stress, which creates tension in your body, especially in your hip area, which is a complex cluster of powerful muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Even a little bit of stress-induced clenching can really lock them up.

So, short of tossing out your chair and entirely eliminating stress from your life, what can you do to unstick your hips and get them gliding freely again? For starters, you can start to incorporate Pigeon Pose into your daily routine.

Try it out! 🙂 Use the basic photo below for guidance.

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WE HAVE A NEW LOOK!

Primadonna Fitness has a NEW LOOK!

Hello everyone & Happy 2015!

I apologize for the break in posts. I have had trouble choosing a host domain for our website. Primadonna Fitness was originally through GoDaddy, but I have personally decided to change servers due to recent campaigns within their company.

Instead of PrimadonnaFitness.com our primary domain will be Primadonnafi.com (simple enough, right?)

It is a NEW YEAR & I have TONS of plans on the table for Primadonna Fitness.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM PRIMADONNA FITNESS IN 2015:

  • DAILY Heath & Fitness Posts
  • Seasonal Workout Challenges
  • A Fitwear Line- Flex Appeal Apparel
  • In-Gym Seminars
  • Youtube Channel to Show Exercises & Proper Form
  • Personal Training Testimonials

I’m so excited to be back with you all! Let’s show 2015 who’s boss! 🙂

XO,

Jill LaMancuso

Primadonna Fitness Founder