Planks: The Ultimate Abdominal Exercise

Do Planks Today

Now that you are training like a decathlete, what do you do to insure a strong mid-section? For many, developing a 6 pack set of abs is more important than anything else. However, 6 packs come only when you minimize your body fat; which comes from eating an incredibly healthy diet with minimal junk (if any). Good genes help too. However, if you, like me, just can’t seem to look like a Greek God, that doesn’t mean you should avoid working your abs. What I do not suggest is endless crunches, day after day. While they are not necessarily bad, they are minimal in working the stabilizer muscles in your belly which insure good posture and help you to perform just about any other exercise with proper form. Weak stabilizers lead to bad form. What to do then? Everybody has heard of sit ups and crunches which are fine, but the plank abdominal in my humble opinion is the best you can perform. So throw away your fancy abs exercise gadgets and read on. One of the main benefits of the plank is that it can be performed anywhere, either at home, the gym or even the office. This exercise works the Abs, back and core stabilizer muscles.

How to Perform The Plank:

  • Place the mat on the floor and lie face down on your forearms.
  • Now lift yourself up using your forearms / elbows as if performing a standard push-up. 
  • Keep your back, hips and legs straight and tense your abdominal muscles.
  • Hold this position until your hips begin to sag.
  • Rest and repeat the exercise.

If you are a beginner you can hold this position for 10 seconds and then rest and repeat. You will soon be able to hold the position for much longer using this exercise on a regular basis. You will also be able to perform variations in the plank exercise. The variations in the plank exercises can be done on either side. For instance, lie on one elbow only and lift yourself up to hold your body in a side plank position. Once you tire, switch to the other side. This may hurt your wrist. However, you will eventually adjust and be able to hold it for much longer. Be patient. It does get easier! The plank exercise should be used as part of an overall abs exercise program. Used in conjunction with other abs exercises, weight training and a good nutritious diet you will soon be reaping the rewards.

To learn more, click here

 To see a great video of a plank, click here.

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One Response to “Planks: The Ultimate Abdominal Exercise”

  1. Georgiana Brewbaker 10/07/2012 at 1:11 am #

    i really like to sculp my abdominal muscles through lots of crunches and weight training. love to have those 6 packs. ‘,”`:

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