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Marlo Alleva demonstrates a plank with alternating levers. [SCOTT WHEELER/THE LEDGER]

Today’s Workout: Plank move will give you challenge

When working out, everyone has their own style and ideal of what it should consist of. Many do only cardio activities, others flock to weightlifting exclusively. We have our cross-trainers, cross-fitters and yogis, as well.

Bottom line is if it’s working for you, then you are on the right path to fitness. It’s great to cover all your bases. A little bit of everything keeps the body guessing and not becoming complacent.

Our move today is a plank with alternating levers, a challenge no matter your level of fitness. All you need is a flat surface to lay your yoga mat on. This move will focus on your whole core, but by adding alternating levers, you will be working your upper and lower body as well. This move focuses on balance, too and everyone will benefit from that.

Begin this move by positioning yourself on your hands and knees. If your balance is compromised, keep your starting point here and add your levers in. Otherwise, you will extend your legs out on your toes, and hold your body in a planking position for your starting point.

Lift your left arm and right leg at the same time, reaching your arm straight out in front of you and extending your leg straight behind. Keep this extension slow and methodical. Once you reach and extend, return to starting position and proceed with the opposite arm and leg. Continue this alternating move for at least eight to 10 extensions on each side.

Take a short break then move on to your next set. Give yourself at least three sets of 10 extensions to really feel this move. This exercise is great on its own, but even better added to a routine for variety and to keep your body changing for the better.

— Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.

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