If you've been slouching your way through the last year of working from home, staring at your computer screen with rounded shoulders while sitting "in dining room chairs that would have chiropractors screaming," you're definitely not alone. For many, "pandemic posture" is definitely a thing, and all of that added pressure on your spine can lead to pain, stiffness, and nerve damage.
In addition to being more active and taking more daily walks, one of the surest ways to bounce back, build muscle, and feel better, is to work more core routines into your day. "Eighty percent of people will experience back pain during their lifetimes," says Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, CISSN, an exercise physiologist and author of The Micro-Workout Plan: Get the Body You Want without the Gym in 15 Minutes or Less a Day. Holland offered us the below workout as a great—and ultra-fast—way to build muscle and bring some much needed pain relief to your body. "Short workouts like this one can make an enormous difference in both helping to alleviate as well as prevent back pain. This workout helps to improve sports performance and makes your activities of daily living easier as well."
Now, when it comes to working your core, says Holland, the key is the frequency with which you do the workout, and not necessarily the duration, so you can do this routine in just 60 seconds. "You can do this micro-workout two to three times a day, several days a week to strengthen and sculpt your core," he says. Consider it a bonus that you need no equipment, as it's all about the plank. "The plank is an incredibly effective exercise because, unlike many abdominal moves like the traditional crunch, it works both the front and back of your midsection at the same time."
Read on for how to do it. And for more great exercise advice, see how this 10-Minute Total-Body Routine Will Transform Your Body Fast.
Keep your body perfectly straight while holding it up on your forearms and toes. Hold for 15 seconds.
Side Plank Left
Lying on your left side with legs stacked on top of each other and left forearm on the floor, lift your body up off the ground into a straight line and hold for 15 seconds.
For more great fitness advice, know that This Is What Walking on a Treadmill Does to Your Body, According to Experts.
Side Plank Right
Lying on your right side with legs stacked on top of each other and right forearm on the floor, lift your body up off the ground into a straight line and hold for 15 seconds.
Keeping your body perfectly straight while holding it up on your forearms and toes, alternate bringing your right knee to your right elbow, then left knee to your left elbow. Hold for 15 seconds.
Want more great exercise tips? See Why Drinking This 30 Minutes Before Exercising Helps You Torch Fat!