Sunday, March 18, 2012

Best Core and Abdominal Exercise

If after thousands of crunches day after day, month after month, you still do not have six pack abs or even better abs, then allow me to introduce you to one of the best core and abs exercises: “Plank”

The plank is an isometric exercise that helps build endurance in your entire core– rectus abdominus, obliques, lower back and stabilizing muscles. It is a powerful exercise that anyone can do.

Plank exercises are a great way to work your abdominal muscles, as well asyour entire core. By forcing your body to stabilize itself in oneposition, planks work both your abdominal muscles as well as your back muscles. 

A significant advantage of planks in terms of developing better looking abs is that they work the transverse abdominus (that holds in the rectus abdominus), compared to crunches that focus only on the rectus abdominus. What happens when you only do crunches for abs (aside from back pain) is that your abs will stick out when viewed from the side, not giving the result you are looking for.

How to do plank exercise

1.Start by lying face down on the ground or use an exercise mat. Place your elbows and forearms underneath your chest.
2.Prop yourself up to form a bridge using your toes and forearms.
3.Maintain a flat back and do not allow your hips to sag towards the ground
4.Hold this position for 10 seconds to start and over time work for 40 – 60seconds.

Some variations on the standard plank are:
1.Side planks: these target the obliques.

2.Stability ball planks: arms on the ball and feet on the floor.

3.Weighted planks: the standard plank done with weight on your back.

4.One arm, one leg planks: perform the standard plank but either extend one arm or lift one leg off the ground. Alternatively, for a a more challenging move, lift one leg and the opposite arm off the ground at the same time. This move requires good balance and will help further strengthen your core.

If you've been working out with plank for a while, you may be ready totry something new and challenging.
Plank with feet on ball
Plank with one foot on ball and hold for 10-30 seconds each leg.
Plank with feet on ball and switch the leg.

Building a strong core is the best way to get washboard abs. Plank exercises are one of the most effective core exercises and abdominal exercises. However, you can’t spot reduce belly fat by performing crunches or any other exercise. You have to lose enough body fat through a good exercise routine and have balanced nutrition before you have any chance of seeing your abs.


  1. Intriguing read. Thanks for explaining which muscle groups are getting worked out each time you do planks including the abs as well as the lower back.