Category Archives: Weekly Assignment

Get Strong Obliques: Try My Favorite Side Plank Variation

Strong Obliques

Advanced Side Plank Steps

Try my favorite side plank variation.

The obliques are responsible for lateral flexion of the torso and help the spine rotate. While running the obliques work together with other core muscles to maintain proper running form.

Why This Variation? 
In this plank variation both your left and right obliques are engaged and active working to stabilize.

Perform it

  1. Start in a side plank position. Make sure your shoulders are stacked and your body is in a straight line. Lift your top leg away from your bottom leg.
  2. Stretch and extend your top arm over your head.
  3. While laterally flexing through your obliques bring your top arm and leg towards each other.
  4. Return to side plank position, keeping your leg elevated and pause before repeating the exercise.

Try doing this plank variation at least once this week. Start by doing ten reps on each side for one set and build up from there. Feel free to modify this side plank variation by bending your bottom knee and placing it on a mat.

Give Yourself a Break!

This week’s RPRC assignment went out a day late and it is not because I planned it this way ahead of time.

I usually do final edits to this email on Sunday night before taking a deep breath and hitting the send button at 9:30 p.m.

Instead of staying at home and finishing your weekly email like I should have, I stood outside and watched the moon for a solid two hours.

I spent TWO HOURS gazing at the moon!!!

Waiting for the #bloodmoon.

A photo posted by Jess Underhill (@racepacejess) on

It’s strange to say that’s what I was doing last night instead of working. I felt guilty about not getting this email out to you at it’s regularly scheduled time.


Standing outside in Carl Schurz Park alongside my talented friend Caryn and at least a hundred other New Yorkers, was literally the fresh air I needed.

Gathering to gaze at the amazement that is our universe with a bunch of friendly strangers was magical. People booed the clouds when they covered the moon and cheered when they moved on. Two people had high-powered telescopes set up and people stood in a line 15 people deep to take a closer look at the moon.

It’s cheesy and I know it, but it was a magical night. The moon brought out the best of everyone and the Upper East Side felt like a small community.

This week’s assignment is to give yourself a break! I hadn’t anticipated ditching work to spend two hours watching the moon, but I did and it was fantastic!

Giving yourself a break can mean a ton of different things, but you should easily be able to identify some area in your life where you need to cut yourself some slack this week.

Maybe this means not being so hard on yourself during your runs this week, taking a much needed extra rest day or that you need to cut yourself some slack in some other area of your life that doesn’t have anything to do with running.

Enjoy giving yourself a break this week! You deserve it!

P.S. – Check out Caryn’s amazing photos of the moon here.