Definition: To plank, a person first gets into push-up position with legs extended, then places the elbows on the floor and rests their weight on their forearms. Hold this position for as long as possible. My gym calls it “The Hover”.
Last week my personal trainer (PT) mentioned he had begun a new Record Board and indicated that I should record my time. I asked why; and told him that I don’t get involved in beating anyone’s record – the women are all too fit, let alone a lot younger than me!
Well that comment fell on deaf ears as the next thing I know I am setting a hovering time. Not to mention prior to my one hour PT session, I had already ‘hovered’ for three x 1-minute sessions and thought that was okay at the time.
However when the challenge was put to me—sore shoulders or not (from an old injury)—I decided to ‘hover’ for three minutes, and I did!
I now hold the female record for a three-minute hover.
Issuing the challenge
I posted this to my friends on Facebook and was surprised by the feedback including the challenges to supersede my time.
My conversation continued at work with my fitness fanatic colleagues. Girls in their thirties and forties all indicated that they could only do one minute maximum at a time – so I put the callenge to them and they were keen to ‘give it a go’.
One of my male colleagues in his early fifties indicated that “getting three minutes hover in one go would be pretty tough going, let alone three by one minute.”
They also debated whether it is a hover or a plank – it appears either.
So here I am in my ‘more-than-fifties’ stage of life, challenging my younger counterparts to a hover challenge of three minutes.
I didn’t admit that I could have hovered longer if it wasn’t for my elbows hurting on the hard surface.
Consequently on return to the gym this week my record has been superseded by a male for five minutes (I will challenge that soon), but not by any of the women! The girls at work are still ‘thinking about it’.
I happen to enjoy this challenge not only mentally but because of the benefits, particularly as we age and fight that uphill health and fitness struggle.
Look at the benefits from a plank or hover or whatever you wish to call it:
- Generates more activity than a crunch;
- Engages major core muscle groups;
- Works arms, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings and abdominal muscles;
- Improves balance;
- Improves posture.
If you don’t frequent a gym, check out how to do it on YouTube and try it, see how long you last.
Oh by the way, there was a two-minute record for the Wall Sit tonight; I reset this with my 3.5 minute Wall Sit record. Feeling a bit chuffed and it was witnessed once again by my personal trainer.
None of these activities are as easy as it looks or seems, no matter what your age!