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Lockdown fitness – week five: plank exercises for riders of all levels *H&H Plus*

In the last of this five-part fitness series, chartered physio Sarah Claridge suggests a variety-packed fitness routine, with a demanding plank exercise to round it off...

Dozens of fitness challenges flooded our social media at the start of lockdown – but how many have you managed to keep up?

This week’s fitness focus is the side plank – key for working those crucial muscles which help your lateral work, controlling  green horses and general yard chores. Those who managed lockdown’s 30-day plank challenge could be ready for the advanced exercise, while those of us who have been taking the last two months rather more sedately may have to start planking from scratch. Whatever your fitness levels, it’s not too late to start now.

Take care: With any new form of exercise, your body needs to build up gradually to avoid strain. Seek the advice of a chartered physiotherapist if you are unsure if you should do any exercises due to underlying health conditions. Particular caution applies if you have any cartilage injuries in your knees or joint replacements; avoid the cardiovascular exercises if you have any unstable cardiac health problems, acute disc bulges/prolapses or referred leg pain, pins and needles, numbness, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, gynaecological conditions – or if you are pregnant or undergoing cancer treatment.

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