100 Things to Think About While Doing a Plank

Or: My relationship with my abs and beyond

It’s not easy to plank, but it’s one of the best exercises you can do without any props. Just you and the floor and your focus. That’s the hard part, the focus. I always say that exercising is not just physical, it’s also mental, and the plank is a fantastic example. When I plank with others, I often say “go to your happy place.” That’s my way of saying, take your mind off the exercise itself because your body can do it—it’s your brain that’s saying “I’m tired, I’m bored, I’ve done enough for today…” Transport yourself through conversation (as we do in class) or reading (as I sometimes do alone) or thinking about something other than holding yourself up in an admittedly uncomfortable position, and you CAN do a plank for a minute, or two, or even three.

Since I love to plank (or rather to have planked), and I certainly love to make others plank, I intend to share here 100 things to busy your mind so it won’t sabotage that wonderful plank.

#1: Food.

As in: What am I going to eat when I finish this workout? For this is, of course, one of the most basic reasons we exercise, right? To earn calories? If you’re like me, while your belly is hanging toward the floor during the plank you are more inclined to plan a smorgasbord of fruit salad and arugula, no dressing. I always feel able to curb any appetite, resist any craving while I’m watching myself sweat in the mirror. Didn’t you know that you’re not allowed to complain about your body while you are exercising? You are working on it—what more can you do at the moment? Carving your body takes time!

Plan ahead for the next few snacky times of the day. If you already know you’ll be eating almonds and an apple for your next snack, maybe those chips on the same shelf as the almonds won’t even speak to you.

No appetite? Then think about the extra calories you’re burning, tighten your abs, and breathe. After all that consideration of what you’ll eat throughout the rest of the day to maintain your tight core and healthy vibe, it’s surely been at least two minutes already….