Image and text by Gabrielle.

I came across this article talking about how planks are the latest fad, and it caught my eye, because Ben Blair is a total planking advocate! He gets the whole family planking whenever we have a spare few minutes. That’s Betty, above, doing a little planking before school this morning. Planking is also part of Maude’s workouts for cross-country and track & field — she holds the planking record in the family.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a hard time embracing exercise routines, but planking seems to be a good fit for me. I like it for several reasons. First, because it goes fast. I can only do about a minute and half so far, and it feels brutal for that minute and a half! But, it’s only a minute and a half. So it’s endurable.

Second, I really like that you can feel the effects, even after just a minute or so. If I plank in the morning, my muscles remind me for the rest of the day.

Third, I’m amazed at how many different muscles get a workout from that one simple exercise!

Fourth, I love that the whole family can participate together. It doesn’t take any particular skill level or strength level or lessons, so everyone can get in on the fun, and no one feels left out. It’s one of those activities where the kids can best the adults (which is always a treat for kids!).

And lastly, I think I like it best because I don’t have to change into work out gear — which means I can participate spontaneously, whenever I think of it or have a break in my schedule.

I can’t pretend it’s a full workout, but I’m trying to pat myself on the back for at least attempting to work some strength-training into my day. : )

How about you? What are your latest exercise successes? Do you have a workout that’s working for you these days? Have you ever tried planking? (If not, go for it! Step away from your computer and give it a try. It’ll go fast, I promise!)

P.S. — Here are some tips to help you hold a plank longer.