A plank is one of the best exercises that help with core strength. According to www.Bodybuilding.com a plank is and it is also known as a prone iso abdominal exercise. This is is a body weighted exercise and no equipment is needed. It is one of the top five abdominal exercises to use when strength training the mid section to develop a strong, toned, sexy core. The plank is a static abdominal exercise. This means that you simply need to hold the position for it to be effective.
The plank should be added into your exercise routine regularly no matter what fitness level you are at. The stronger your core is the less back pain you have, the better your posture will be, and the more stable your body will be in every day positions. The more often the plank is performed in your exercise routine the easier it will be to get a tighter stomach and lean waist line.
How to Plank:
1. Make sure that your elbows are directly under your shoulders.
2. Keep core tight (that means pull the belly button into the spine) and do not hold your breath.
3. Evenly distribute your weight on both the right and left foot and keep your back flat creating a table like position.
4. I always recommend 3 sets of these and to hold for a duration of at least 30 seconds or until failure. According to www.bodybuilding.com if you want to increase the difficulty of your plank, an arm or leg can be raised.
The secret to sexy abs isn't crunches. Flexion of the spine caused by crunches isn't always a good thing. Especially if you have back issues. So I wouldn't suggest doing crunches that involve flexion. Also you can do all the crunches in the world but unless you shed that fat over your stomach you will never see your abs that are underneath. You have to lose those layers in order for you abs to show.The following tips will help you get those sexy ab's that you'v always wanted. So get Training It Right for your abs!
One of the first things that people don't realize that leads to a sexy stomach and abs is your diet. Your diet directly affects your body's ability to burn fat efficiently. To clean up your diet to help remove abdominal fat make sure to drink 2-3L of water a day, eat smaller more frequent meals and snacks. I suggest 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day. No more than 2-3hrs spread apart. Eat lean protein, and healthy fats. Avocado is a great healthy fat and fish high in Omegas help you get that as well as protein. A good amount of protein to aim for is 0.8g per pound of body weight. Stay away fro high salted foods, fried foods and processed sugars and sweets.
The second thing is to stay away from long steady cardio. It's ok to sometimes mix it up but try and stick to interval training that is to say HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training. Why it works? It helps your bloodstream uptake fat out of stage where it can be used for energy. Make sure to alternate the high intensity with lower intensity so you can survive the workout. For example walk for a minute at an incline of 3 and speed of 3, then pick it up to run at speed of 7 and repeat for 20-40 minutes. I suggest to start with 20 and work your way up to the 40 or more.
The third thing would be to still work on your core without the crunches by using planks. There are so many types of planks. Make sure to mix it up. Front planks, side planks, reverse planks, one hand planks, one leg planks, forearms on bosu, feet on boss, use a trx, use a bench etc.
Good luck and Happy Training It Right!
There are many variations of planks that I do but I want to talk about the basic plank. A plank is one of the best exercises that help with core strength. In sum the stronger your core is the less back pain you have, the more stable you will be and the better your waistline will be. Make sure that your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Keep core tight (that means pull the belly button into the spine). Evenly distribute wait on right and left feet and keep your back flat (don't stick your butt high in the air).
I always advice 3 sets of these guys and always try and hold as long as you can. I try not to set specific times, but each time you try a plank try and hold it for longer than your last. You need to continually challenge yourself to see change.
Plank to Pike 3 x 15 (hold the plank 2s and the pike 2s)
a) Make sure that your elbows are under your shoulders and keep core tight (belly button pulled into the spine) with quads contracted
b) Push hips up to pike while keeping core tight (belly button pulled into the spine)
(same instructions just on hands)
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