Planks are a quadruple threat, and by holding one for just 30 seconds a day, you will instantly start seeing results on your abdominal muscles, arms, triceps, and core. Riggins suggests doing low and high planks for 30 seconds each. For the low plank, he says to “get up on your elbows and your feet like a push-up position. You can modify by getting on your knees and hold for 30 seconds.” For the high plank do the same but “hold your legs straight” for 30 seconds. If abs are your problem area, don’t miss our helpful article Can’t Get Cut Abs? A Celeb Trainer Explains Why!
In 1890, English-born American physician Edwin Checkley published ‘A Natural Method of Physical Training’ in which he presented his MMB philosophy. Checkley’s exercise method was non-competitive, did not encourage physical or mental exhaustion, and did not require equipment. The aim was ‘to feel naturally light and strong and to have an effective body.’9 Checkley E. A natural method of physical training. New York (NY): William C. Bryant & Co.; 1890. [Google Scholar] Checkley expressed his dismay toward the vigorous and ‘unnatural’ athletic training methods utilized in the gymnasiums at the time, as well as toward the new mechanized ‘muscle-molding schemes’ he referred to as ‘straining’ more than ‘training.’ He criticized the ethics of aggressive performance-enhancing gymnastic and athletic training techniques claiming they were not natural, therefore harmful for the body and mind. In comparison, Checkley described animals in nature that sustain a lifetime of health, fitness, and beauty by performing seemingly effortless movements on a regular basis.9 Checkley E. A natural method of physical training. New York (NY): William C. Bryant & Co.; 1890. [Google Scholar] Perhaps ironically, Checkley’s philosophy and exercises famously ‘converted’ Alan Calvert, the weightlifting pioneer who founded the Milo Bar-bell Company in 1902 and started Strength Magazine in 1914 (Figures 1, 2).12 Beckwith KA. Building Strength. Alan Calvert, the Milo bar-bell company, and the modernization of American weight training; PhD thesis. Austin: The University of Texas; 2006. [Google Scholar]
After 5 min warm up at 20% of peak power output, subjects performed a time to exhaustion at 85% of peak power output. Exhaustion was defined as a decrease in cadence below 40 cpm for a duration ≥ 10 s or when the subject voluntarily stopped. Subjects were not aware of the time elapsed during the time to exhaustion test. Verbal encouragements were provided by an experimenter naïve of time to exhaustion during the previous sessions.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.