You may have noticed that we love a plank at Northern Bootcamp. It’s simple and versatile – it achieves so much, with so little movement.
But that’s not to say it isn’t worth varying the plank from time to time – with a few slight tweaks, you can achieve a great boot camp body and an immensely strong core.
We’re also giving you a great, healthy Christmas day side-dish, then we’re going to make some recommendations for ways to modify the plank, ensuring you hit every available spot.
Braised red cabbage with cider and apples
- 1½ kg red cabbages
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 Granny Smiths apples, peeled and cored and chopped
- zest 1 orange or 2 clementines
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 100g light soft brown sugar
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 300ml dry cider
- 25g butter
- Peel off the outer leaves from the cabbage and discard. Quarter the cabbage, removing the tough stem, then thinly slice. Arrange a layer of the cabbage on the bottom of a large saucepan, followed by some of the onions, apples, zest, mixed spice, sugar and seasoning. Continue to create layers until you have used up the ingredients.
- Pour over the vinegar and cider and dot the butter on top. Bring to the boil then simmer with a lid on over low heat for 1½ hrs, until tender. The cabbage will keep for 2 days, covered, in the fridge or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat in either a pan or in the microwave.
#AdventAbs Day 18 – varying the plank
Once you’ve got the plank mastered, you’ll want more from our favourite exercise. Just a few mods can help it reach the parts no other exercises can – still with minimal movement. It’ll leave you with a strong core, brilliant posture and improved balance. What’s not to love?
The side plank
Once you’re in the plank position, trying lifting onto your side, so you’re balanced on your forearm and the outside of your foot. Keep your back straight – no slouching – and hold for a count of 10. Return, carefully, so you’re on your front again, then flip up onto your other side, and again, hold for 10. This works your sides (those love handles!) so is well worth adding in.
Extending the plank
When in the plank position, try lifting one foot from the floor and holding it in position, then alternate. When you’ve mastered that, leave both feet on the floor, but try to plank with one arm tucked behind your back. Then change arms. Now, add both together, so you have only your right forearm, and your left foot touching the floor. Then swap.
The subtle movements and tiny losses of balance all work together to strengthen your core and leave you with great posture.