Plank is the one of the most effective exercises to strengthen your stomach muscles and tone entire body. Why so?
Image Credit: capdesign, Getty Images / iStockphoto
It’s a great isometric exercise, which literally means your muscles are not extended or compressed during the workout, but you engage your upper body and lower body – the whole core – at the same time. More information on core workouts you’ll find in the Core Exercise Report of Harvard Medical School.
About a Plank
You can choose any type of a plank, depends on your purpose, and train almost all parts of your body (back, arms, buttocks, shoulders). And to do majority of planks, you don’t need any special equipment, just your time, a stretch matt and, what is most important, your intention to be fit. This is the reason why more and more people include planks in their fitness routine.
What is also a great advantage, there are so many variations of a plank and you can choose any you like, or your trainer recommends, and interchange them. Today let’s have a look at 5 different types of a plank that target the entire body and especially good for slimmer waist.
Side Plank Lift
Come down into an elbow plank, hips and chest are open and straight as much as possible, raise your arm up, and lower and lift your hips. Pay attention to keep a space between the head and the shoulder; do not crunch down the shoulder. Do 15 times for each side.
Plank with Hip Drop
Balance on the shoulders and the toes, your elbows are wide, drop the hips to the right, squeeze the buttocks, and then do the same on the left side. Make sure your buttocks are tense, the back and pelvis does not drop.
Side Plank Leg Lift
Balance on the elbow and outer line of the foot, keep the body as one straight line. Raise the hand in the air and keep up while doing the exercise. Lift the leg up and down. Do it for 30 seconds. And do the same move on the other side, for 30 seconds. Make sure you are not dropping your hips and not turning your toes out or down, the legs should stay parallel. Side plank is great to develop strength and stabilization.
Plank with Leg Kick
Balance on your elbows and toes, move the leg out to the side and in. Change the leg. Do 15 times for each leg. In this variation you really hold core for support and intensively work with your glutes.
Side Plank with Inner Thigh Raise
Take the pose of a side plank, engage the core, lift the hips and put sides of both feet on the ground, put the right foot ahead of left. Then lift up the left arm and keep straight. Raise your right leg maximum high, put back to the ground. Repeat for the other side. Do 15 reps. for each side.
Repeat this set of exercises three times a week and soon you’ll be positively surprised.
Besides the advantages mentioned above, regular workouts with planks will result in toning up a tummy, increase metabolism and facilitate fat burning, strengthen your back, and finally your joints and bones will be in much better condition.
To Plank or Not to Plank? – Huffingtonpost.com
Reality Check: Are Planks Really the Best Core Exercise? – Acefitness.org