Dr. Mimi Zumwalt recommends beginners try planking over push-ups

Mimi Zumwalt demonstrates planking
Published: Aug. 18, 2016 at 4:01 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2016 at 4:06 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - If the Olympics are motivating you to get in shape, Dr. Mimi Zumwalt, an Orthopedic Surgeon and world champion body builder, says you don't have to do push-ups or sit-ups to strengthen your core muscles.

Instead, she says "planking" is the easiest way to start working your abs and build strength by keeping the body very still and your abs tight.

Dr. Zumwalt says, "Planking is better because you're not moving any body parts. If you have pain in the joints, this helps protect it, but you're still building strength in the core muscles. I would start out with just 10 to 15 seconds or as much as you can stand, and tighten up all your muscles, including your abs."

Dr. Zumwalt says there are many variations: resting on your elbows,or with your knees bent, even with your ankles crossed.

She says start with whatever is the easiest position for you, and hold it as long as you can.

Eventually, she says you'll build the strength to hold the entire body in a straight line, "planking" like a plank of wood.

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