Strength and Prehab: Core #2

This is the fourth post in a series providing strengthening prehab exercises. I am not a certified running coach or a physical therapist — just someone recommending exercises that have helped me become a stronger runner and ward off possible injury. Who else gets bored of the same old strengthening routines? If you’re interested in more ideas, check out the myrtl routine, shin strengthening and another plank variation!

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This week’s core exercise is a plank challenge from Fitness Magazine! It popped up on my Instagram feed a week ago, and I thought; why not give it a try? You can see Kira Stokes, creator of the Stoked Method, demonstrate the plank variation on Instagram too. Before I started getting serious about running, I would throw the occasional plank into my workout, but I avoided side planks like the plague. I would hold one for a second or two, eventually fall out, and give up before trying again.

As with most things, I didn’t get better until I insisted on doing them more frequently (or you know, more than a few seconds) and since then, I like to do a side plank on each side following my regular planks. This exercise, however, is a nice variation that gives you a little more to do while you wait for the seconds to count down to the finish.

NOW DO IT ALL REALLY FAST!
NOW DO IT ALL REALLY FAST!

Step 1: Start in the side plank.

Step 2: Dip your hip to the floor twice.

Step 3: Lift your leg twice.

Step 4: Do two side crunches.

Step 5: Do three sets. Repeat on each side.

Easy as that! Okay not really easy. Lifting up your leg in a side plank is no joke!

Have you ever been plank-adverse? Do you like variations or keeping it simple?

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Weekend Wrap-Up: It Feels Like Summer

Happy Monday! I’m linking up with Tara at Running ‘N’ Reading again for this week’s weekend update. 

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As I write, it is almost 10 o’clock this Monday evening, and I am just getting around to writing a weekend update. In my defense, it is just coming to a close! Who doesn’t love a long weekend?! As a result of this late hour…this will be short and sweet. Tonight I am going to fall asleep content — filled from an excellent watermelon/hotdog/grilled corn dinner and smelling like sunscreen, which I oddly love because it is the smells like summer (in my mind anyway).

And before I delve into the tiny moments that made this weekend memorable, I’d like to formally profess my thanks to the men and women in the armed forces who have and continue to defend this country.

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelou

On to the weekend! First, Alex’s workplace generously closes the office on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, and thus, we started off the day with a big, glorious breakfast at Founding Farmers. We always go with the eggs Benedict florentine and share a sweet side of either waffles or pancakes. This time: carrot cake pancakes. Then we walked passed the White House, window shopped in the stores between it and Gallery Place, and stopped in to pick up nutrition for Alex’s first half marathon in a week! We also watched a Tomorrowland matinee and had quite perfect day before it was even three o’clock. Friday also marked my first day working at J. Crew on F ST, which was a little nerve-wracking, but I am excited to be there!

Saturday was spent deep-cleaning/spring cleaning the house, grocery shopping, Georgetown-browsing, Korean-dumpling eating and the rest, because I was in J. Crew training 9-5pm on Sunday in Pentagon City. Saturday was a day to be enjoyed. And thus, this brings me to Monday: an extra, glorious, relaxing day before work begins again tomorrow. It looked a little like…

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Today’s short run was hot…but necessary. It felt good to be out there!
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A pina colada + grapefruit margarita from Suburbia at Union Market. That little umbrella made me feel like I was on a well-deserved vacation.
The aforementioned Suburbia at Union Market — it's a renovated Air Stream!
The aforementioned Suburbia at Union Market — it’s a renovated Air Stream!
If you read last week's Friday Five...I made the Mexican corn recipe! Coming to the blog this week.
If you read last week’s Friday Five…I made the Mexican corn recipe! Coming to the blog this week.

Regardless, I feel ready to tackle week #2 at my practicum and at J. Crew — as well as delve back into training!

How was your weekend?! Did you take any trips? Or did you enjoy a little staycation like myself?