Transform your core in just 3 minutes (a day)

If you’ve thought about trying Pilates but never managed to get to a class. If you’ve always meant to incorporate core fitness exercises into your training but it’s still on the to-do list. If you’ve done a few sit ups but go weeks go by without repeating. Then this is the solution to your core fitness aspirations!

If you are training for a marathon you’ve got to put the miles in and wave goodbye to lazy Sundays. But if you want a strong core you don’t have to spend hours each week at it, you could but you don’t have to. The trick is little, short but OFTEN.

Here we challenge you to take a mere 3 minutes every day for a month, follow Goska’s instruction (our resident core-fitness queen) and see the transformation.

So, let’s get started…..

You can do this 3 minute session virtually anywhere, dressed in anything. All you need is a stopwatch or your smartphone to count down the seconds.

So, let’s get those glutes fired and tummies taught.

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  • NikkiJanuary 1, 2017 at 9:30pm
    Gonna give this ago ???????????? Reply
    • GoskaJanuary 3, 2017 at 9:31am
      Absolutely Nikki, go for it! You can find it difficult for the very first few days, so start from 10 - 15 seconds hold and then slowly progress and try longer each day. I am sure you will be able to keep a plank for whole minute after 30 days. Remember, it's just 3 minutes a day! :) Reply
  • Mihir ShahJanuary 2, 2017 at 4:32am
    Thanks for the running exercise tips, this was indeed very helpful.

    Wish the team at R&B a very happy new year! May 2017 bring out the best in all of us :)

    Mihir Reply
    • GoskaJanuary 3, 2017 at 9:37am
      Thank you Mihir! Wish you all the best and many great running adventures! :) We runners should always inspire each other and help to progress, so great to hear that you found it useful!
  • Mark JoyJanuary 2, 2017 at 9:29am
    5th London marathon in 6 years and I'm going to give it a go - anything to help me train better - happy new year! Reply
    • GoskaJanuary 3, 2017 at 9:54am
      Wow, that's something! Well done and good luck with upcoming races! Side planks are a m a z i n g for your running gait, so if you want to improve your running posture, strength and hips stabilisation even more, you should be focus on that exercise. If you will find it easy (you can hold each side for 30 - 45 sec with your arm pointing sky) - raise your leg! Will be much more difficult to maintain stable posture with both your arm and leg raised. Remember to keep your gluts super squeezed - it's easy to forget about it when you do side planks ;) Good luck!
  • KeithJanuary 2, 2017 at 1:32pm
    Thanks for the video - very useful. My daughter is 13 and is a pentathlete. She trains 3 days per week and we typically work on core exercises twice a week. At her age would you recommend her doing the plank on a daily basis? At present she does the plank twice a week for 1 min 30 secs each time, thanks! Reply
    • GoskaJanuary 3, 2017 at 12:43pm
      Hi Keith, thank you for kind words! Your daughter is super strong if she can hold plank for 1 min 30 sec, that's really impressive! In her case I definitely recommend to discuss any training changes with her coach, because she is young and she trains a lot already. We don't want to push her body too much and get her injured. If 1 min 30 sec plank it's not a challenge for her anymore, you can increase duration time or add some weights on her back (weightlifting plates are good for it). But, you can also try other variations of core exercises. Our bodies like changes! Try plank on elbows, side plank with hand and leg raised, hollow and arch position, v-ups (great for abs!), superman, mountain climber, etc. If she can hold regular plank for that long, probably she will be able to keep correct posture during more dynamic options of core exercises. Let's break the routine and make it fun! :) Just make sure it wont be too much for her. Well done for you daughter, she is truly inspiring! Reply
  • Phil MortJanuary 2, 2017 at 1:52pm
    Yup going to give it a go. Reply
    • GoskaJanuary 3, 2017 at 10:03am
      Yes Phil, definitely! January it's the best time to do it and it takes only 3 minutes a day. Start from the comfortable holding time - just remember about your posture (shoulders above your hands, feet together, gluts squeezed) and slowly increase amount of holding and decrease rest time. It's a super efficient exercise, you should feel a difference already after few days! Have fun! :) Reply
  • AnaJanuary 2, 2017 at 5:24pm
    Good tips. I think I was doing it wrong before. Thanks Reply
    • GoskaJanuary 3, 2017 at 1:33pm
      Thank you Ana! You can find a lot information about plank on the internet, but not many of them mention gluts tension, what is absolutely crucial in any core exercises or gymnastic movements. Since you start squeezing your gluts during your plank, you'll find it much more challenging to hold, because you are engaging correct muscles properly. Small, but important change! ;) Good luck with your training! Reply
  • charlieJanuary 3, 2017 at 6:53pm
    On YouTube a lot of the guys do the plank resting on their forearms. is this easier or harder and which version is the best? Thanks Reply
    • Goska DuzykJanuary 4, 2017 at 2:04pm
      Hi Charlie, both variations are correct and work on slightly different parts of your body. Plank on hands activates more shoulder and triceps muscles and less core, so you can feel this version a bit easier to hold, if you are new into a core exercises. Plank on forehand (elbows) activate more core, simply because you are unloading shoulders and you are closer to the ground, so gravity works in your behalf! ;) You can play between both! If you want to develop shoulders strength and stabilisation more, stay focus on the hand plank. If you want to develop core more or if you have any shouldes/wrists problems you should do more forearm plank. You can also try "plank to press" exercise, it's awesome! Start from the forehand plank and change into o hand plank by pushing up from your hands. Then lower yourself down to your forehand plank again. Remember to switch your hands each repetition (to develop strength in both hands, not only right) and keep your gluts sqeezed and your hips stable and paralel - it's very easy to start shifting your hips side to side when you are pressing up and down. So, mix & match, both options are great! Have fun! Reply
  • FridaJanuary 4, 2017 at 6:06pm
    Hello and happy new year! Starting this today, what a great idea, am very excited but am struggling a little to know if I'm doing it right. Side plank is great, got that one down. Normal plank...looks like shankara is kind of pushing the body forward to keep the glutes hard and it looks easy. I'm kind of finding it hard to know if I have my but too high or not. Do you focus on abs as well to hold the right position? Where should I feel the burn mostly? Now I'm feeling it very much in my glutes/upper hamstrings and arms, and only a bit in my abs..
    Sorry if I'm unclear..I just don't have a mirror to look in and no one to help me.
    Thank you! Reply
    • GoskaJanuary 5, 2017 at 5:53pm
      Hi Frida, happy new year for you too! Now, it's a perfect time to start with a good core exercises program! I will try to help you as much as I can :)
      So, first when you do regular hand plank, make sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists, so you are not over stressing joints in wrong position. You can press your shoulders slightly against the floor, so upright. Squeeze your gluts really, really tight - automatically your whole body should become tight and engaged. You can try to maintain straight line of your legs and back, but it's not that necessary until you still keep your gluts locked. Make sure you are not arching your back though, so don't get too low!
      I explained Charlie (one question above yours) difference between hand plank and forehand plank, so you should also try forehand plank which should engage your abs more than hand version (You've said you don't feel abs that much). Either options are very useful, and it's worth to do both. Core muscles are not only abs, having strong back and gluts it's also very beneficial for a good posture! But, if you want something extra for your abs ( when you will feel confident with holding your perfect squeezed position plank around 45 seconds) try v-ups exercise! Oh, you will feel the burn! ;) But for now, let's start from the basic, correct position, build up overall strength and stabilization, and then let's move into dynamic options. Fundamentals first!
      Oh, one more thing! If you don't have a mirror, or anyone around who can check your gluts (magic finger) use your phone! Put it on the side, record yourself and check how your position looks like.All the best for you, good luck and have a great time with your training! Reply
  • LindaJanuary 14, 2017 at 12:26pm
    Hi. I tried this but my right wrist is not strong enough on its own to do the side plank having broken it over a year ago. Can I do the side ones on my elbow? Will that still work? Reply
    • GoskaJanuary 14, 2017 at 6:25pm
      Hi Linda, yes absolutely! In your case, if your wrists are not strong enough, you should do regular plank or/and side planks on your forearms. Avoid plank on your hands. Both versions work great for you, so stick to the forearm! All the best for you! :) Reply
      • LindaFebruary 5, 2017 at 10:37pm
        Hi. Just to say, many thanks. I've been doing this every day (half plank as suggested) for the last 3 weeks and it is making a real difference to my strength and my body. It also made me realise I had one weaker hip. Thank you for this exercise. Reply
        • GoskaFebruary 7, 2017 at 10:00am
          Hi Linda, so great to hear it! Do not worry about your weaker hip too much - that kind of imbalances in our body are normal, but it's good to be aware of it and work on both sides separately - so actually, for you side planks sounds like a perfect exercise! Congratulations for your dedication and commitment, hard work always pays off! Amazing! Reply
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