When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

Corporate Champions who partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research stand at the forefront of the fight against cancer

The Annual AICR Research Conference is the most authoritative source for information on diet, obesity, physical activity and cancer.

The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing program that analyzes global research on how diet, nutrition and physical activity affect cancer risk and survival.

A major milestone in cancer research, the Third Expert Report analyzes and synthesizes the evidence gathered in CUP reports and serves as a vital resource for anyone interested in preventing cancer.

AICR has pushed research to new heights, and has helped thousands of communities better understand the intersection of lifestyle, nutrition, and cancer.

Read real-life accounts of how AICR is changing lives through cancer prevention and survivorship.

We bring a detailed policy framework to our advocacy efforts, and provide lawmakers with the scientific evidence they need to achieve our objectives.

AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

AICR is committed to putting what we know about cancer prevention into action. To help you live healthier, we’ve taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations.

May 16, 2016 | 2 minute read

I keep hearing about “planks” as an exercise for waist and abs. What’s a plank?

Q:        I keep hearing about “planks” as an exercise for waist and abs. What’s a plank?


A:        Planks are a great muscle strengthening exercise. They’ve become popular because they need no special equipment and strengthen abdominal muscles – along with others – without the back strain that sit-ups can cause.

The basic plank starts in a position like the “up” position of a push-up, except rather than moving up and down, plank exercises strengthen muscles by holding a position. If you are just starting doing planks, try resting on your forearms and knees instead of hands and toes. There are a variety of plank exercises, each targeting a slightly different part of the “core.”

Place your shoulders directly above your elbows. It’s important to tighten abdominal muscles, holding your back in a straight line, neither raising your bottom in the air nor letting it sag. Initially aim to hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax, and repeat a few times. As your muscles strengthen, increase holding time and try a variety of other positions (such as side versions) to keep building muscle strength.

Planks help strengthen abdominal muscles along with a whole group of muscles that cover front, back and sides of your abdomen, lower back and pelvis. These muscles are important to help maintain good posture and balance that is especially vital to reduce falls in older adults. A strong core also provides stability to avoid lower back pain and injury while performing sports and daily physical activities.

Most people can do some form of planks that is both safe and effective, but people with any spine or back conditions should check with their doctor first.

Here’s a helpful visual guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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