I was first introduced to Plank Pose in an advanced yoga class. At the time I had been practicing yoga for a few years and I knew I’d have no problem lasting the requested one minute. I lasted less than 15 seconds (devastated).

Though a simple pose, plank can be one of the most challenging parts of your routine but also the most beneficial. Below are a few reasons to introduce planks into your life:

No More Crunches: Introducing plank pose to your exercise routine will work your upper and lower abs, obliques and lower back. Side plank can also be useful in working these areas.

Build Your Stabilizer Muscles: Stabilizer muscles are the lost and forgotten muscles.  They work to help stabilize your joints so that other parts of your body can perform different motions. For example, A chest press with an exercise ball works primarily the chest but in order to be successful at this exercise your abs, legs and back must be strong and stabilized.

No More “Lady” Pushups: Standard plank pose is essentially a pushup without the extended arms and movement. Introducing plank to your routine will help build shoulder and arm strength necessary to do better standard (and advanced) pushups.

Get the Hump Out of Your Back: Plank pose helps to promotes good posture and prevent back injuries. Bonus: Proper posture is a great way to exude confidence.

Contract Abs: Plank helps teach your abs to stay contracted in a regular standing position, which is the correct way to stand.

Since my introduction to plank pose I have been able to increase my time holding plank. I still don’t love to do them but I look at the effect they have on my core and back and I suffer through them. I’ve also introduced them to my husband’s daily workout because he has suffered from years of back pain, and when he remembers to do it he has a much easier night in his truck.

So I’m challenging you, the reader, to start doing a Plank-A-Day beginning in September. Start slow and hold it for a few seconds, then build up to a minute. Before you know it you’ll be on the road to a fitter, stronger you.