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Reverse Plank Vs. Plank: How the Ab Exercises Compare



Whether your workout involves the reverse or standard plank variation, you’re guaranteed to feel the burn in your ab muscles. But, even though both exercise moves are associated with core work, each type of plank does come with its own unique set of benefits.

The standard variation is, of course, the high plank. According to Pilates teacher Gia Calhoun, the proper way to do it is by coming onto all fours, stacking your hands or elbows under your shoulders, stepping your feet back behind you, and then lifting your body off the floor. You’ll then be holding this position as you maintain a straight spine.

To do a reverse plank, think of that same move but flip it upside down, says SLT workout founder Amanda Freeman. “With your front body facing towards the ceiling, rest your hands or forearms on the ground below you, and extend legs straight out so your heels are on the floor,” she tells Bustle. Your hips will be lifted as you hold and feel the burn.

Regardless of the plank variation you’re doing, it’s important to focus on form so you get the most benefit out of the move. Depending on which plank you do, you’ll notice different parts of your body lighting up. Which one you choose might come down to the muscles you’d like to work on a given day. Here, fitness trainers compare the benefits of a plank vs. reverse plank so you can figure out the one that’ll best suit your goals.

The Benefits Of Planks

According to Freeman, a standard plank primarily targets the core muscles since you keep them engaged in order to hold yourself up off the floor and maintain a straight back. As you’re holding that position and preventing your butt from lifting or navel from dropping towards the ground, you’ll really feel those deep abs working.

While a plank is considered a full-body exercise, certified personal trainer Heather Carroll, CPT says it benefits the front muscles of your lower body in particular. The act of keeping your legs extended works the quads, and balancing on your hands (or forearms if you’re doing a modification) hits the upper trapezius muscles, chest, lats, and shoulders. In proper form, Carroll says you’ll build up strength and endurance in all those muscles at once — all without moving.

You might also notice a reduction in back pain if you do planks on the regular, says Sweat Remix founder Angela Gentile. As your core and posterior chain get stronger, it’ll become easier to maintain a nice, upright posture throughout the day, and that can translate to fewer backaches.

Another perk of the exercise? Planks just so happen to serve as a great baseline for more advanced exercises, says Gentile. As you continue to work out, you’ll notice that planks get easier and easier, making them an ideal way to measure your fitness progress.

The Benefits Of Reverse Planks

Get into a reverse plank and you’ll fire up your core, triceps, and biceps, as well as a whole host of muscle groups down the backside of your body. According to Gentile, the move targets the hips, glutes, back, and hamstrings because you have to hold yourself level and keep your body stable with just your posterior muscles and core.

The positioning of a reverse plank also helps to improve shoulder mobility, says Gentile, since you have to place your arms back behind you. And that’s what makes it also count as a great stretch: You’ll feel your muscles loosening along your shoulders, chest, and hips.

Because of its body-opening benefit, trainer and gym owner Melody Klitzke says a reverse plank is a great move to do at the end of a long day — especially if you spend most of it seated or hunched over a computer. This exercise will stretch out your muscles and help alleviate aches and pains while improving your posture.

Planks Vs. Reverse Planks

Overall, both exercises effectively work your ab muscles, but the standard plank hits more of your front (or anterior) muscles while the reverse focuses more on your posterior chain (the muscles along the back of your body).

What the moves have in common, however, is that both planks count as low-impact exercises. As Freeman says, each move challenges your body to work hard without putting too much pressure on your joints.

According to Klitze, both types of planks also have the potential to improve your balance, thanks to their focus on core strength. And a stronger core will help you feel more supported in everyday life, which is a pretty nifty secondary effect of doing planks (of either variety) on a regular basis.

Studies referenced:

Chang WD, Lin HY, Lai PT. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Mar;27(3):619-22. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.619. Epub 2015 Mar 31. PMID: 25931693; PMCID: PMC4395677.


Gia Calhoun, Pilates teacher

Amanda Freeman, SLT workout founder

Angela Gentile, Sweat Remix founder

Heather Carroll, CPT, certified personal trainer

Melody Klitzke, trainer and gym owner

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Cassidy Timbrooks on ‘The Bachelor’ Isn’t the Villain You Think She Is



I knew Cassidy Timbrooks was going to be eliminated from The Bachelor the second she addressed a table full of children as “you small people.”

But it wasn’t until Clayton Echard learned she had a “friend with benefits” back home that her number came up. The Bachelor rescinded the rose he had already given her and predictably sent the 26-year-old executive assistant packing on Monday night’s episode.

In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.

That’s why her ride home from the mansion was more than just another early villain exit. The Bachelor is clearly trying to get back to basics this year — and by basics I mean American sexual politics circa 2002. The fact that Cassidy got the boot so swiftly shows how quickly the show is returning to its traditional roots. In an era of dating apps and delayed motherhood, ABC’s long-running reality dating franchise is recommitting in Clayton’s season to its core tenets: Love, marriage, and family — preferably before age 30.

In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.

Only against that backdrop would a woman like Cassidy strike anyone as an outlier. Outside of the show, she doesn’t exactly seem nefarious. Since the premiere aired, I have been following her on Instagram, where she’s been posting incredibly lucid and self-aware reflections about her time on The Bachelor, conceding in one of her Stories that she struggled to balance “confidence” with “considering other people’s takes.”

Indeed, like so many hated contestants before her, Cassidy appears to have been the victim of a selective edit and a mocking soundtrack. The unflattering edit began in earnest when she largely ignored the children at a birthday party group date to talk with the Bachelor instead. At one point, seated around a table sipping tea, she told a group of kids, “I spend as little time around you small people as possible, so forgive me…” and then immediately went on the back foot as they latched onto the comment.

I don’t blame the kids for taking offense. But any adult viewer who paid attention to her tone should have recognized the droll delivery. Was it an inartful thing to say? Sure. Children aren’t the right audience for wry humor, especially if you’re joking about avoiding them. But Cassidy didn’t deserve to be demonized as a kid hater, either.

“I knew I was giving villain, but I thought I was far more amusing and harmless,” she wrote in one of her post-show Instagram Stories, “and I think a lot of the hate is based in misogyny internalized and otherwise.”

She’s not wrong. Cassidy was punished, both in the edit and by a segment of the audience, for not going googly-eyed at the notion of spending an afternoon building a dollhouse. She certainly didn’t echo the enthusiasm of a fellow contestant who saw the kids from afar and exclaimed, “Oh my God! I’m so excited! I love children!” while running toward them.

The Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.

To be fair, that attitude is more in line with Clayton’s. In the first five minutes of the current season, the new Bachelor was twice moved to tears by the thought of raising a family. He introduced himself in the opening voiceover by saying, “I can’t wait to get married and have kids,” and later choked up while reading a letter from a child predicting that he will “have lots of kids.”

Clayton is nothing if not sincere, but there’s probably a reason the producers picked someone like him in the first place — and why they’re emphasizing childrearing so much this early. After years of controversy over racism in the franchise, culminating in the departure of ex-host Chris Harrison — and after more recent flirtations with progressive casting including the first same-sex engagement, a (gasp!) 39-year-old Bachelorette, and several leads of colorThe Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.

I used to wonder whether the horror novel I wrote satirizing Bachelor-style shows would be outdated by the time it comes out later this year, but if anything, this season has felt ripped out of time in the worst way.

Cassidy’s storyline especially has highlighted double standards that should be long dead by now. Clayton himself recently addressed viral TikToks about his dating history by saying that he “enjoyed [his] singleness” for “the last six years of my life.” This is the same Bachelor who confronted Cassidy on Monday night’s episode about allegedly “seeing someone up until the point that you came here,” as though she were beholden to him before then. Hookups for me but not for thee?

Presented in the weird logic of the show, you’d almost forget that Cassidy is one of 30 women Clayton dated simultaneously — and that, in season previews, the Bachelor will later admit to being “intimate” with two contestants. Somehow that behavior is more “for the right reasons” than having casual sex with someone before filming even began?

Cassidy may be off the air now, but her brief run was telling. This throwback edition of The Bachelor needed a villain, and the producers chose a confident woman with a history of casual dating who said “F*ck a dollhouse” on camera. It’s probably a bad sign when someone that refreshing doesn’t make it to the second rose ceremony.


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Another Day, Another Musk Tweet Pumps Dogecoin up 9%



Musk, who is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, said he would eat a Happy Meal on TV if Fast food giant McDonald’s starts accepting Dogecoin

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Everything You Need to Know About the UK Government’s COVID Inquiry



On May 12, 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an independent public inquiry into the government’s response to and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Established under the Inquiries Act 2005, the COVID Inquiry will examine the government’s “actions as rigorously and candidly as possible,” according to the Prime Minister, and will aim to “learn every lesson for the future.” It will do so by summoning the production of documents and witnesses to give evidence under oath in order to examine the government’s response to the pandemic.

Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE will act as Chair of the inquiry, which is set to begin “sometime in spring 2022”. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the COVID Inquiry and what we can expect from the process.

How Will The COVID Inquiry Work?

According to BBC News, the Chair of the Inquiry can call whoever they want to give evidence, “whether they are witnesses to an event or people with particular expertise.” As barristers’ chambers Doughty Street Chambers notes, witnesses to an event will be asked to give evidence of their experience or direct knowledge of what took place. They speak on behalf of an organisation, like the NHS or the police.

Evidence sessions will be given in public and under oath, per BBC News, and most sessions will be available to watch on TV and online. There’s no time limit to the inquiry either, and they can often take years due to the “huge amount of evidence that needs to be read.”

What Will Be Included In The COVID Inquiry?

The exact aims, issues, and remits included won’t be announced until closer to the start of the inquiry, but the Prime Minister has said his government would work closely with the devolved administrations and governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland before setting out what exactly will be included in the inquiry itself.

Shortly after announcing that an inquiry would take place, the Prime Minister told MPs that the inquiry would consider his government’s handling of the pandemic before the first lockdown in March 2020, per The Guardian. As for other issues, law firm BDB Pitmans suggests that the higher death rate in general, especially among ethnic minority groups, will be a major point of contention, as well as the government’s “procurement processes” of contracts awarded during the pandemic.

What Issues Have Been Raised Around The COVID Inquiry?

Undocumented Migrants

Following the publication of a report by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), it’s vital that the voices of undocumented migrants are properly heard during the COVID inquiry. The report found that the UK “lagged far behind other European countries” in protecting undocumented migrants during the pandemic.

Caitlin Boswell, author of the report and policy officer at JCWI, said in a statement that if the government “wants to learn lessons” from this inquiry and “fully recover from the pandemic”, it needs to “stop prioritising its anti-immigration agenda above saving lives.” An anti-immigration agenda which is more commonly known as the Hostile Environment.

The term “Hostile Environment” is used by many to describe a set of policies that are intended to block undocumented migrants from using public services like the NHS and the police, as well as making work and housing inaccessible; effectively making life as difficult as possible.

Boswell added that the government “must listen to migrants’ voices, including those who’ve lost status, and ensure that in the future, no-one has their life put at risk because of their immigration status.” Boswell concluded that in “doing so will not only protect the most marginalised, it will help protect all of us.”

People With Disabilities

Sense, a charity which focuses on complex disabilities, has also called for the government to take the experiences of disabled people and their families into account. As the charity notes, 6 out of 10 people in the UK who have died from COID are disabled, despite making up 22 per cent of the general population.

“Decision-makers did not engage with us, our needs were often overlooked and communications were largely inaccessible,” Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy for Disability Rights UK, explained. “Health bodies treated our lives as less valued, disabled people receiving social care were inadequately protected, some disabled children were denied education and support, and supermarkets failed to ensure that we could access food.”

There is yet to be a date announced or confirmed for the COVID Inquiry.

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