Our Final Two Additions to the MineFit Strength Series are...
(1) the Plank
(2) the Quad Extension
**Please see the Monday Moves Section for Each of the Strength Series Exercise Postings**
Strength Move: The Plank
The plank is hugely useful to strengthen the core of the body as well as the arms, build stability to prevent joint injury, endurance to measure gains in progress, and it's easy to do anywhere. The main focus of this activity is to tighten your abdominals and create a long, flat, strong spine, then hold firm as long as you can. Squeeze your butt as you hold your plank, and tuck your belly button to engage your abdominals. If your lower back starts to sink, your spine starts to arch, or if you feel your back aching, stop the plank and rest.
Start with performing 30 seconds of a plank hold, twice through, and add time until you reach 90 seconds. Or, add weight in your arm, or a leg raise, to make the plank more challenging.
Strength Move: The Quad Extension
This move can be performed in standing, sitting, or on a weights machine. It is beneficial to proper tracking for the kneecap to prevent and treat pain in the top of the knee (a result of patella-femoral syndrome) by strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint. It also helps stretch the hamstrings out, because as you squeeze your quadricep, your hamstring lengthens out. This means a more limber, stronger leg, and less pain in your lower back (a result of tight hamstrings pulling on the spine)
Perform 15 repetitions on each leg when doing one at a time, and if you are seated, perform 10 repetitions with both legs at once - engaging the abdominals.