Oh summer. How we love thee. With long sunny days, barbecues, beach and pool outings, and just a little R&R, how could this not be a favorite season to many?

With all of the fun activities that summer brings, it could possibly cut into our fitness regimen. So, that is when we throw in a quick, powerful move to get the job done!

Our move today is a plank rotation. All you need for this exercise is a yoga mat and a flat surface. This exercise will be focusing on core strength, but you will find it to be a total body exercise.

Begin this combination move by laying flat on your stomach on your yoga mat. Find your positioning by supporting your upper body on both hands. Place them about shoulder width apart and lift up your upper body by extending them out straight. Tightening in the core and rotating your hips forward to get a deeper contraction, extend your legs straight out behind you and support your lower body on your toes.

Now you will find yourself in a planking position. Once you find your stability, it is time to add in a rotation.

Start by lifting one arm off the ground, twisting in the midsection and extending that arm up over your body to the sky. All the while, hold your body weight with your other arm and both feet. When you reach your fullest rotation, reverse the move, guiding it with your midsection and placing your hand back on the ground. Then begin the same rotation on your other arm.

Continue this side to side core rotation for at least eight to 10 times on each side. Give yourself a small break in between sets by dropping to your knees and shaking your arms out. Then continue into a few more sets. If at any time you need to drop to your knees and continue your rotation, you will still be getting the benefits of the move with less tension on the body.

This is a good starting point also for those with any kind of restrictions or who simply lack the strength to hold a plank for an extended period of time.

This exercise will definitely boost your confidence in all of your summertime activities!

Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.